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Especially because I know thee to be expert in 
all customs and questions which are among the 
Jews. — St. Paul's defence before Agrippa. 










This work was at first solely intended for those 
English-speaking Europeans (in which term we include 
the people of America also) who have never set their 
feet on the soil of India. This is the reason why the 
Author has been rather minute in his description. It 
makes its appearance here only by the advice of some 
European friends who have thought that it would be 
read with interest in this country also. This is ren- 
dered more probable by the fact, that there are more 
new Europeans now in India than there were some 
time ago ; and it is an axiom in the science of go- 
vernment that the Rulurs should know all they can 
of the Ruled, more especially when both the races are 
so foreign to each other as the British and the Hin- 
doos are. 

India being a vast country, inhabited by various na- 
tions, differing from each other in many respects, the 
following Chapters describe the manners and customs 
of only a certain portion of the immense population ; 
and even of this portion, only those manners and cus- 
toms that are more general ; because the people of 
the different parts of Northern India also differ from 
each other in some respects. 


In writing Hindee single words we have not follow- 
ed the system adopted'by Missionaries in this country, 
but spelt the words as. would appear most natural to 
the European eye ; for instance, we have written 
Hindoos, and not Hindus ; Hindee, and not Hindi, 
&c. In publishing books Missionaries can save much 
space by the Koman Character system, but as very 
few Hindee words occur in this work, space has been 
no object with us. There are however these exceptions 
to this remark, that e has the sound of ay as in bay 
and pay ; a has a dash over it when pronounced long, 
as in meld, a fair ; and when not accented, it has the 
sound of u as in cut and nut ; u and a short have 
been used indiscriminately to represent this sound. 

The Work was written before the Mutiny, but cir«- 
cumstances have delayed its publication. 

The reader will also kindly bear in mind that the 
Author writes in a foreign tongue, and that due al- 
lowance must be made for his English. 


January, 1860. / 



India — Its Geography — Original Inhabitants — History — 
"Features of the Hindoos — The Hindoo mind — Moral char- 
acter — Desire for fame — Credulity — Cleanliness — Polite- 
ness of Manners — Hindoos superstitions 1 


Division into Castes — Brahmins or Priests — Chhattries or 
Soldiers — Vyshes or Merchants 14 


Sooddurs or the fourth general Class — Kayashts or Writers 

~ f CvX llivi D» ••• ••• ••■ ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• V mk 



Carpenters — Blacksmiths — Silver and Goldsmiths — Bar- 
bers — Cowherds — Shepherds — Fishermen — Oilmen — Fullers 
Potters — Weavers — Shoemakers 49 


Sweepers — Other Castes — Description of a Bazaar or 

W\ TTrFJk-^ Vu • • • • • • ••• ••• ••• • • • ••■ ••• ••• • • • ••• V i 


Sacred Scriptures — Gods — Incarnations — Daily ablutions 
— Hindoo Worshippers — Mode of pooja" or worship — Hindoo 
goddesses* — A peculiar prayer — Counting beads — Spiritual 

• >• 

Vin. Page. 

guides— Feeding Brahmins— Religion of the middle and 
Wer Classes— Craftiness of Brahmins. 73 


Melas or religious fairs — Pilgrimages 88 


Supplying the thirsty with water— Building temples and 
places of sacred bathing — Alms to the hungry and other 
ways of obtaining merit — Transmigration of souls — Festi- 
vals — Devotees 100 


Family arrangements — Houses — Furniture — Meals — Man- 
ner of eating — Dishes "* 115 


Entertainments-rCivilities of Intercourse — Hospitality 
towards travellers— A peculiar mode of salutation of wo- 
men — Costume of the nation 128 


Practice of Medicine — Decision of cases by arbitration — 
Diversions and Amusements 139 


Desire for male issue — Destruction of female children — 
Early marriage — Education of girls — Character of Hindoo 
women — Dress — Ornaments — Beauty 150 


Name of the husband never mentioned by his wife. — 
'.atment of a Hindoo wife — Love between husband and 

ix. Page. 

wife — Hindoo women religious — Helplessness of Hindoo 
mothers when their children are sick — Barrenness a reproach 
— Daily household duties of a Hindoo wife — Grinding — 
Washing the kitchen, &c. — Drawing water — Scouring and 
cleaning cooking utensils &c. — Cooking — Hindoo Widows. 161 



Nuptial ceremonies numerous — Age when a girl is mar* 
riageable — Talk about espousals — Teekrf — Lagan — Wedding 
procession — A shed — Immediate wedding ceremonies — Gauna 
— The next day after marriage — The wedding proces- 
sion returns — Shed, &c. removed. 175 



A woman in the family-way for the first time — What 
they do when a child is born — Chhattee, or the ceremony of 
the sixth day — Dathaun, or the rite of the tenth or eleventh 
day — The same of the sixth month — Ceremony of shaving 
the child — Funeral rites — People near death — What done 
on a person's death — The man that sets fire to the funeral 
pile — What done by his relations — The eleventh day after 
death — Marriage of a pair of calves — Balls made for the 
deceased — Dinners given to Brahmins — Shaving — A lamp 
lighted and left in a field — Srddh — Offering of balls at a 
place called Gaya\ 185 




Number of seasons — The Hindoo year — Falling of leaves 
— Spring — Harvest — Hot winds — How the day passed — Night 
— Cooling drinks— Dust storms — Approach of the rainy 
season — Sometimes late — Its arrival — Appearance of the 
surface of the Earth — Fields attended to — Brooks and rivers 
swell — Women swing — Weather sometimes oppressive — Sick- 
ness — Cold season — Winter stuffs — Fire — Hindoo division 
of time — Whence they date their time 19i 

• •• 

Vin. Page. 

guides— Feeding Brahmins— Religion of the middle and 
lower Classes — Craftiness of Brahmins. 73 


Melas or religious fairs — Pilgrimages 88 


Supplying the thirsty with water— Building temples and 
places of sacred bathing — Alms to the hungry and other 
ways of obtaining merit — Transmigration of souls — Festi- 
vals — Devotees 100 


Family arrangements — Houses — Furniture — Meals — Man- 
ner of eating — Dishes * 115 


Entertainments-rCivilities of Intercourse — Hospitality 
towards travellers— ^ A peculiar mode of salutation of wo- 
men — Costume of the nation 128 


Practice of Medicine — Decision of cases by arbitration — 
Diversions and Amusements 139 


Desire for male issue — Destruction of female children — 
Early marriage— Education of girls — Character of Hindoo 
women — Dress — Ornaments— Beauty 150 


Name of the husband never mentioned by his wife. — 
Treatment of a Hindoo wife — Love between husband and 

ix. Page. 

wife — Hindoo women religious — Helplessness of Hindoo 
mothers when their children are sick — Barrenness a reproach 
— Daily household duties of a Hindoo wife — Grinding — 
Washing the kitchen, &c. — Drawing water — Scouring and 
cleaning cooking utensils &c. — Cooking — Hindoo Widows. 161 



Nuptial ceremonies numerous — Age when a girl is mar- 
riageable — Talk about espousals — Teeka* — Lagan — Wedding 
procession — A shed — Immediate wedding ceremonies — Gauna 
— The next day after marriage — The wedding proces- 
sion returns — Shed, &c. removed. 175 



A woman in the family-way for the first time — What 
they do when a child is born — Chhattee, or the ceremony of 
the sixth day — Dathaun, or the rite of the tenth or eleventh 
day — The same of the sixth month — Ceremony of shaving 
the child — Funeral rites — People near death — What done 
on a person's death — The man that sets fire to the funeral 
pile — What done by his relations — The eleventh day after 
death — Marriage of a pair of calves — Balls made for the 
deceased — Dinners given to Brahmins — Shaving — A lamp 
lighted and left in a field — Srddh — Offering of balls at a 
place called Gaya". 185 




Number of seasons — The Hindoo year — Falling of leaves 
— Spring — Harvest — Hot winds — How the day passed — Night 
— Cooling drinks— Dust storms — Approach of the rainy 
season — Sometimes late — Its arrival — Appearance of the 
surface of the Earth — Fields attended to — Brooks and rivers 
swell — Women swing — Weather sometimes oppressive — Sick- 
ness — Cold season — Winter stuffs — Fire — Hindoo division 
of time — Whence they date their time 194 

X. Page. 



Sneezing — Mentioning the name of the animal monkey in 
the morning — Selling for the first time in the day — A fat 
child not to be called fat — A child's name not to be men- 
tioned in the night" — &c. — &c. — Proverbs — What said when 
one is distressed and forlorn — Regarding ingratitude — Ruin 
by discontentment — Hypocrisy — &c. — &c. — &c ... 205 



Sports of Krishan, one of the Hindoo gods, with the wo- 
men of the place and neighbourhood where he was born — 
A young wife lamenting the absence of her husband — &c. 

^"■"CW/. OLG* • <• ••• ••• . .« . «• ••• ... «•• ... •«• **« 



Astrologer consulted — Things taken — Ponies and con- 
veyances — Time of starting — What they do on the way — 
Begging Faqueers — Things — Two anecdotes — A trick of 
highway robbers — Travelling much safer now — Principal 
macadamized road — Halting and refreshment about noon — 
start again — Native Inns — Inn keepers — Travellers in a Sa- 
rite or Inn — Scenes in Sanies — Travellers reported to the 
Police — The same cautioned — Watchmen sometimes paid a 
trifle — Travelling on branch roads. 231 



The sacred language of India — Education never general 
in the country — Education of Brahmins — The Dev Nagree 
character — Education of Chhattries — Of Vyshes or mer- 
chants— of Sooddurs — Mass of the people ignorant — Efforts 
of Government — Boys put in a School — Things taken with 
them — Mode of study — Hindee books read by people for 
amusement — 3ome authentic letters as specimens. 243 

xi. Page. 





Excellence of Knowledge — An educated and virtuous 
.son a blessing — Dangerous enemies — Fate — Prosperity the 
fruit of exertion — The society of the wise and virtuous — 
cic. - ~ *ttC«~~ otc» ••• •»• «•• ••• ••■ . >( ,,, ,.* «•« ... 4fU 






India — Its Geography — Original Inhabitants — History — Fea- 
tures of the Hindoos — The Hindoo mind — Moral character — 
Desire for fame — Credulity — Cleanliness — Politeness of Man- 
ners — Hindoos superstitious, 

" Hindustan or India" says a European writer in 
the .country " is one of the most interesting and most 
important countries on the surface of our globe. It 
has excited the ambition of Conquerors from other 
lands since the time of Semiramis till the present day ; 
and has called forth the enterprise of the merchant 
since the earliest periods of commercial exertion down 
to the present era of enlightened and extensive nation- 
al intercourse. The Historian, the Poet, the Antiqua- 
rian, the Philologist, the Philosopher, the Naturalist, 
and the Politician have, each in their several spheres, 
found matter to exercise their thoughts and summon 
forth their energies in contemplating this wonderful 
and interesting section of Asia. 


I 2 ] 

" Hindustan is bounded on the west by the Aff- 
ghanist&n Mountains, which form the western limit 
to the vale of the Indus ; on the north by the majes- 
tic chain of the Himalaya' Mountains, which stretch 
in a south easterly direction from the river Kama to 
the Brahmaputra ; on the east by the mountains of 
Arrakan and the Muniptir Hills ; and in all other 
directions by the Ocean. It extends from about 8° to 
about 35° north latitude ; and from about 67° to 92° 
30' east longitude. The extreme length from Cape 
Comorin to the northern limits of Cashmere may be 
stated in round numbers at 1850 British miles ; and 
the extreme breadth from Cape Monze in Scinde to 
the Muniptir Hills ^1600 British miles. Within this 
vast territory there is every variety of surface ; there 
are level plains, undulating hills, precipitous ravines, 
and snowy mountains towering aloft to heights un- 
equalled in any other region."* 

The Hindoos are not believed to be the original 
inhabitants of Hindoostan ; but are said to be a race of 
Conquerors that came from some country lying west 
of it. The Aborigines of the place are said to be some 
barbarous tribes that are found in mountains, and are 
called Bheels, Gonds, and Chooars ; and are believed to 
have been driven into these wild habitations by their 

The history of India is divided into three periods. 
The first is that in which the Hindoos were indepen- 
dent. It seems they had enjoyed a good measure of 
peace during this period, and that for a long time ; as 
is seen by the great progress that they made in 
civilization. They made great improvements in the 

* Descriptive Geography, p. p. 187, 188, by the Revd. Dr. 
Ewart, Missionary, Free Church Institution, Calcutta, 

[ 3 ] 

arts and sciences, and built citieaf monuments and 
temples ; — all which cannot be done during a perpetual 
warfare. Some of their cities are said to have been 
most magnificent and wealthy ; trade flourished and 
the country was populous. The whole country was 
never under one Ruler, but was divided among a great 
many Rajahs ; some of whom were very powerful and 
had thousands of foot soldiers, horseman, and ele- 
phants at their command. One of them opposed 
Alexander the Great when he attempted to cross the 
Jheelum. Many of them had most desperate conflicts 
with the Mohomedans when the latter began to invade 
the country ; and a good number of them were wise 
and just rulers. With the present nature of mankind 
it is almost impossible that any part of the world 
should be without wars and disturbances of some kind 
or other for a period two or three thousand years ; 
so the Hindoos had wars and troubles in the time of 
their independence ; but on the whole it seems to 
have been a time of peace* 

The second period is that in which the country was 
under the Mohomedans. They began their invasions 
in the eighth century ; but made great conquests in 
it about the tenth. Under them the Hindoos suffer- 
ed much ; their chief object was to propagate their 
religion by force of arms ; and they compelled thou- 
sands of Hindoos to embrace Islamism. Many of 
them, when thus forced, used to have their idols under 
their arms when they stood up to repeat prayers. 
Cows are held very sacred among the Hindoos ; they 
never eat their flesh ; and to humble - them as much 
as they could, the Mohomedans used very frequently 
to force pieces of beef into their mouths. Sometimes, 
when a religious quarrel or affray takes place between 
the Hindoos andMoQSulmans, the former, if victorious, 

[ 4 ] 

kill swine in thfc mosques of the latter and besprin- 
kle them with their blood : and if the latter have 
the advantage, they kill cows in their temples and 
defile them with their blood. The misery that a great 
many Mohomedan Kings caused among the Hindoos 
"was as great as any that a conquered nation has ever 
experienced, the Jews excepted. Thousands of them 
were at different times carried into slavery ; the num- 
ber of Hindoo slaves, was once so great in Cabool 
that a slave was prized at less than two rupees. Du- 
ring their reign, life, property, and honour were not 
secure ; and the effect of their government on the 
country resembled that of a scorching blast upon a 
plant. One or two of their kings about the latter 
part of their period, may be excepted from this remark 
They were in possession of the country for about 
eight hundred years. 

The third period of Hindoo history is the time of 
the British Government ; and it is the happiest that 
Hindoostan has ever seen. Descendants of the for- 
mer Rulers of the country, whether Mohomedans or 
Hindoos ( for there were some Hindoo Rulers also when 
the British acquired the country ) will not of course 
admit this ; the flatterers too of such persons, and 
some others, whose forefathers used in former times to 
amass wealth by oppression, will express their disapproba- 
tion of the present rule ; but the mass are quite pleased 
with it and often offer up the prayer that it may continue 
as long as time shall last. The British Rulers do all 
their best to better the condition of the people, and 
make every attempt for the proper administration of jus- 
tice. There is certainly a great deal of dishonesty practised 
by natives themselves who are employed to help the ru- 
lers ; — but after all there is a wonderful difference 
between the preceding and the present government ; 

[ s ] 

and this is the best which the country can at pre- 
sent have. Life, honour, and property are all secure, 
and the native expressive proverb, — " Sher aur bakri 
ek gh&t p&nf pfte haig" or a lion and a goat quench 
their thirst at the same brook side by side, is realized. 

The features of the Hindoos are as regular and 
handsome as those of any nation in Europe. In the 
words of a European, they " are tall and slight, with 
handsome oval countenances, long eyes and eyebrows, 
dark smooth lank hair, an olive skin, but in the 
cooler regions, and when not much exposed to the 
weather, even fair, like that of more northern na- 
tions." People of the higher classes, in general, that 
do no work out of doors are pretty fair ; those who 
are exposed to the sun have a darker complexion. 
The skin is, however, soft and there is nothing un- 
pleasant about the dark complexion. 

The Hindoo mind, supposing it has opportunity 
for cultivation and improvement, is not in the least 
inferior to the European ; this is evident from what 
it has done, and that, unassisted by foreign nations. 
To prove this it will be perhaps better to quote here 
what the Author just cited writes on the point : — " A 
contemplative people, as the Hindoos are," says he, 
" must early have turned their thoughts to the sub- 
jects denominated metaphysical. We accordingly find 
that all the theories on that subject, formed by the 
Greeks or by the moderns, were already familiar to the 
Sages of India. Thus the system devised by the ex- 
cellent Bishop Berkeley, and developed and explained 
by him with so muck ingenuity and elegance, was. 
known in India centuries before our era. So also was 
the atomistic theory, on which Epicurus founded his 
philosophy, long familiar to the Hindoos. 

A A 

[ « 1 

"In Astronomy the Hindoos had advanced far be- 
yond the Greeks. They were acquainted with the 
precession of the equinoxes, they knew the causes of 
eclipses, and had constructed tables by which they 
might be accurately calculated. Some of their sages 
had discovered the diurnal revolution of the earth on 
its axis, and had even with tolerable accuracy calcu- 
lated its diameter. A passage in the Veds asserts 
that the pole star changes its position, the con- 
stellations are named in the Epic poems, and the fixed 
stars are spoken of as bodies of great magnitude, 
which shone by their own native light. In Geometry 
the Hindoos had made discoveries, which were not 
made in Europe till modern times. Such were the 
mode of expressing the area of a triangle in terms of 
its sides, and that of expressing the proportion of the 
radius to the diameter of a circle. In Arithmetic 
they are entitled to the fame of the invention of the 
decimal system of notation. But, in Algebra, the 
merits of the Hindoos are still higher, and discoveries 
not made in Europe till the last century were fami- 
liar in India for centuries before. This, however, is 
the latest of their sciences, and the works which treat 
of it have all been written since the commencement 
of our era. Finally, the Hindoos were versed in 
Trigonometry, in which they went far beyond the Greeks, 
and were acquainted with theorems not discovered in 
Europe till the sixteenth century. 

" All the subtleties of logic, and the refinements 
of grammar, are to be met with in Sanscrit works on 
these subjects. In the copious poetic literature of 
India, the niceties and varieties of metre are as nu- 
merous as in that of ancient Greece. The Sanscrit 
language is, for copiousness, beauty, flexibility, and 
nicety of structure, almost without a rival, in the 

[ 7 1 

opinion of those most competent to form a judgement 
on the subject. 

" The wonderful excavated temples of Ellora, Sal- 
sette, and Elephantina, and the Pagodas on the Coro- 
mandel coast, prove that in architectural skill, and in 
the art of sculpture the ancient Hindoos far exceeded 
the Egyptians. That in the most remote ages the 
Hindoos understood the art of ship-building, and 
made distant voyages, is proved by their colonies. 
There is also in the ancient Code of Manoo a law 
relating to the interest of money, in which that lent 
on bottomry is particularly noticed ; and this we may 
observe, could only take place among a people fami- 
liar with sea."* A great part of the knowledge of 
the present European nations was originally derived 
from the ancient Greeks and Romans ; but the Hin- 
doos acquired all theirs by the exertion of their own 
genius. At present, however, all this knowledge is 
only in their books and is not possessed by them. All 
This progress in the arts and sciences they made when 
they were independent, and men of genius and learning 
were patronised by their Rajahs. The ' Mohomedan 
invasion and oppressive reign crushed the spirit of 
further enquiry and improvement, and the Hindoo 
mind has for centuries lain dormant. The Sanscrit 
is a dead language and almost obsolete ; but when 
knowledge is presented to Hindoo youth in European 
dress they are in no way behind European youth in 
acquiring it. * 

We must observe here, that notwithstanding the 
great progress of the ancient Hindoos in the arts und 
sciences, some of their religious books contain numer- 
ous gross errors relating to Astronomy, Geography 

* Keightly'a India ; p. 4. 

[ 8 ] 

and some other sciences. Thus one of their N religious 
writings says, that the Sun is only 800,000 miles 
distant from the Earth, and the Moon 1,600,000 
miles ; another that the rain falls from the Moon. 
According to some books the earth rests upon the 
back of a tortoise ; according to otters upon a horn 
of a cow ; again according to some others upon a ser- 
pent. It is said, there is a great mountain in the 
middle of the earth, 600,000 miles high, and 1,28,000 
miles thick at its base, and 256 miles thick at its top ; 
some of the books say, night is caused by the Sun's 
getting behind this mountain. Seven seas of as many 
different substances, namely milk, saltwater, sugar- 
cane juice, wine, clarified butter, buttermilk and sweet 
water are said to surround this mountain. The 
authors of these works seem to have known only 
about their religion and nothing else. 

The moral character of the Hindoos is awful. Their 
literature is so vast, that the longest life would not 
suffice to read all their books ; these writings havef 
on the whole, great encomiums on virtue and morali- 
ty. The following couplet is by one of their holy 
men : — 

Tiilshi k&yd khet hai ; mans& bhayo kisan. 
Pap puna dou bij hain : bawe so lune mdan. 

O, Tulshee, this body is the field and the soul is 
the husbandman : virtue and vice are seeds, — it ( the 
soul ) must reap whatsoever it sows."* Passages of 
this import abound in tjieir books ; but the example 
of 'their gods described in their Shastrirs is most 
shameful, and the daily practice of all the Hindoos, 
in spite of the many good moral precepts in their 

* Compare with Gal, VI. 7, 8 vs. and others. 

books is revolting to a reflecting mind. They believe 
they are at liberty to practise any vice,' and the great- 
est vice, provided they perform a few most trifling 
external religious acts. If they bathe in the Ganges 
repeat a few prayers, bow before idols, offer them 
flowers and some other things, and repeat in the mor- 
nings and evenings the names of one or two of their 
avatars, and now and then give dinners to Brahmins, 
they believe they are quite safe and can practise any 
Vice to promote their interest and satisfy their incli- 
nations, provided they can keep themselves from the 
hold of the law of the land. This is the case with 
all classes ; but the higher castes, that is, the priests, 
the warrionf the traders, and the Writers are the worst ; 
and these are the men, who, in general, possess some 
education and profess to be pious and eminently holy. 
All that they do is for gain and fame and pleasure ; 
the world has no greater liars, cheats, oppressors, and 
so forth. These people will daily spend one or two 
hours in devotion with the greatest regularity and 
punctuality, and will the very moment they get up from 
devotion do the most wicked act if they can make any 
thing by it ; this is in fact their daily practice ; they 
spend part of the morning in devotion, and the re- 
mainder of the day tell lies, cheat, and commit every 
wickedness by which they can make something. One 
of these holy men will think nothing of leading a 
man to be murdered for gain ; if a murder is commit- 
ted any where they will let the murderer escape if 
they can make any thing by it ; and if an innocent 
person be suspected and apprehended they will, often, 
let him be hanged. Sometimes innocent people are 
hung. False witnesses are very cheap in India ; and the 
natives that are employed in courts to help Europeans 
in administering justice are notoriously dishonest ; 
they always league with him who can give the most. ; 

it is exceedingly hard for the Judge to find out the 
truth of the matter, and through the dishonesty of 
natives many cases are decided wrong. 


Obscene language is very prevalent among the Hin- 
doos ; and it is always used when a person has aught 
to say against a human being, a brute, or an inani- 
mate thing. On those occasions when Europeans 
curse and swear, the Hindoos deal most liberally in 
indecent language; the cursing and swearing of 
Europeans is more or less directly addressed to the 
Almighty; — the indecent language of the Hindoos 
has reference to the females of the man spoken 
against; this abuse is called gdlee, and is always 
directed to a man's wife, mother, daughter, and sister ; 
not to all at once, but sometimes to one and some- 
times to another. When there is a sharp and serious 
quarrel going on between two persons, all are abused 
in the most obscene language, and each party tries to 
outstrip the other in the use of it towards his antag- 
onist's females. The gdlee is felt somewhat less 
painfully when a person has no such female relation 
as is named in the abuse ; for instance, if the abu- 
sive language be meant for a sister, a man, if he 
has no sister does not feel it so sharply as he would 
if he had one. This obscene language to females some- 
times leads people to strike, wound, and kill each 
other. When a woman herself is the object of irri* 
tation, abusive and obscene language is used to her 
direct. They have become so habituated to obscene 
language in the form of galee that they do not seem 
to be able to talk without it, and perhaps they are 
not quite conscious of three fourths of obscene terms 
that they daily use. All these filthy terms are not 
used only in quarrelling, because they are not always 
quarrelling, but in conversation also, and that for the 

1 11 ] 

most trifling things ; — all brutes and inanimate objects 
with which they have to do have their share. Ob- 
scene language is so prevalent every where, that little 
boys four or five years old catch and use it ; and 
boys of eight or nine years old are adepts in it. Pa- 
rents hear their children using filthy language, but 
never dream of checking them, unless it be used with 
reference to any relation or connexion of a friend. 


The Hindoos are extremely desirous of fame and 
often spend great sums for the gratification of this 
passion. They make wells of strong masonry on 
public thoroughfares; — the professed end of which 
is the convenience of the public and particularly 
travellers : but the real object is the acquisition of 
renown. With the same view, and in the same durable 
manner, they make bathing places ( called ghauts or 
bisrdts ) with steps on the banks of rivers and tanks, 
and build temples too ; they also make a great noise 
about weddings, invite a great many of their friends, 
have dancing girls and fireworks, and drums and pipes. 
They have a great display at many of their festivals 
also. Mo3t of the wealthy among them would rather 
give away a rupee before a crowd than part with a 
single piice for the sake of ^harity when they are 
alone ; in fact, most of what they call their alms goes 
to the pocket of the Brahmins, who natter them in 
return. They seldom give to the really needy ; and 
when they do give, it is by no means according to their 
circumstances. When a beggar begs at the door, he is 
almost always sent away with a very small portion of 
flour or grain; that flour or grain would not in 
general suffice to make a child's meal ; and these very 
men spend pretty good sums in other ways that 
bring them fame and make people talk of them. 
This passion for feme haunts all classes, high and low, 

[ 12 ] 

rich and poor. We once saw a poor man, who would 
have felt parting with a pice, give away a rupee to 
a begging Brahmin with the greatest possible compla- 
cency, when there were people around him to see 
this donation. The monthly wages of this man was 
about five rupees. There is great reason in India also 
for the old complaint, — " they call their lands after theflr 
own names ;" and this is also a way by which Hindoos 
attempt to hand their names down to posterity. 
People frequently call villages and marts after their 
names, and with the same view plant also extensive 
groves of the mangoe tree. 

Another prominent trait in the Hindoo character 
is credulity ; — and this is almost boundless ; it is on 
this account that they believe the most absurd stories 
contained in their books ; they believe, that in former 
times mankind used to live more than ten thousand 
years ; that one of their kings called Sagur had sixty 
thousand children, who were brought up in a pan of 
milk, and were at length reduced to ashes by the 
curse of a holy man ; some of their heroes are said 
to have had ten heads and twenty arms ; they give 
credence to thousands of such absurdities contained 
in their books. Whenever a marvellous story is re- 
lated in their hearing, they at once believe it without 
ever questioning the truth of the matter. The writer 
has heard some of them say, that there is a country 
somewhere on the face of the earth, the inhabitants 
of which have such long and broad ears that when 
they sleep they spread one under them and cover 
themselves with the other. An old woman once told 
us, that her husband, a sepoy (or soldier) in the 
British Army had been to this place and seen these 
monsters with his own eyes ! They believe there are 
some holy men in certain parts of the country wh<). 

[ 13 ] 

perform most wonderful miracles, though they have 
themselves never witnessed the performance of even 
one. When they talk of such a man, they will take 
care to add that he lives in a distant place ; a miracle 
at the very time and on the very spot where the holy 
man's powers are advocated is never to be witnessed. 
An old man once told the Author that he had heard 
a new born European child was bathed in brandy ! 
If they were told that in a certain place a man had drop- 
ped down from heaven they would give it an immedi- 
ate assent. When they hear of wonderful events 
they almost never exercise their minds about the prob- 
ability or possibility of the occurrences. There are 
a very few persons, however, here and there, who, in 
some respects and in some degree, form an exception 
to this description. 

The higher classes of the Hindoos are clean both in 
their persons and attire ; the middle and lower classes 
also bathe themselves daily, but cannot on account of 
their general poverty afford to have different changes 
of raiment. The Hindoos are very civil and polite 
in their manners. All this civility and politeness is, 
however, generally merely ceremonial and does not of 
itself necessarily imply particular regard or affection. 
But this is not the case, it seems, only with the Hin- 
doos ; the greater part of the" world is guilty on this 
point ; if it were not, it could not be called cold and 

The Hindoos are among the most superstitious people 
in the world ; they have made themselves wretched 
slaves to thousands of imaginary evil spirits and in- 
fluences and do not know what liberty of mind is ; 
they are in the grossest darkness and are always troub- 
ling themselves with most unnecessary fears. Whenever 


[ 1* ] 

they take an important step they must always consult 
their priests to know whether the time be auspicious 
or not. Superstition binds them as it were with fet- 
ters of iron ; — a Hindoo might as well think of flying 
up to the moon as do some something important 
without consulting the priest. Weddings, journeys, 
commencement of the education of children, and a 
thousand similar things require the aid of the priest ; 
this superstition is apparent in their daily life in ten 
thousand shapes. 



Division into Castes — Brahmins or Priests — Chhattries or 
Soldiers — Vyshes or Merchants. 

One of the most remarkable features about the 
Hindoo nation is its division into castes ; this division 
has been maintained from time immemorial, and at 
the present age the Hindoo adheres to it with a tena- 
city which ends only with his life. The different 
castes will by no means intermarry. Sometimes wo- 
men of higher castes elope with men of lower ones 
and more frequently men of higher classes take into 
their houses women that belong to the lower castes : — 
but intermarriage there is none. The distinction of 
castes is kept up with so great a strictness that a man 
of a lower caste might be dying, but a man of a 
higher one will never let him take water out of his 
cup for fear of its being defiled. A Hindoo would, 
in general, rather see his fellow man die than pass 
the bounds of his caste to help him. According to 
this system the son is not at liberty to follow any 

[ 16 ] 

trade or profession that he likes, but must adhere to 
that which his father and forefathers have practised 
before him ; — doing otherwise would be followed by 
excommunication. There are certain exceptions to 
this, however, which will be mentioned hereafter. 

The principal comprehensive castes are four : viz. — 
the Brahmins or priests ; Chhattries or soldiers ; 
Vyshes or a particular class of merchants ; and Sood- 
durs or tradesmen and all others. Each of these is 
subdivided into scores of others, so that if all the di- 
visions and subdivisions were enumerated they would 
come to thousands. We will notice in some of the 
following chapters those that are more prominent. 

The Brahmins. When a Brahmin gets to the age 
of eight or nine, a thin cord called Janeo is given 
him after some ceremonies to keep about his body ; 
this Janeo has the two ends joined, and goes over the 
right shoulder and comes down to the waist on the 
left side ; the ceremonies that are performed when a 
Janeo is put on a boy are the same that are practised 
at a wedding ; we will not describe them here as they 
are to be spoken of in the sequel. The time when 
the Janeo is put on is an important period in the 
life of a Brahmin : before this period he is considered 
a mere child and as possessed of no religion and he 
can eat without bathing and performing pooj£ or 
worship : but now he cannot do so ; how he is in the 
regular class of priests and must conform to those 
rules by which they are governed ; he must not eat 
without bathing, and without performing pooj& also 
if he is desirous of being eminently pious. 

A young Brahmin, when he can learn, begins to 
study at an early age. All the Sanscrit writings are 

[ 16 ] 

considered religious and divine, and their grammars 
have the same rank. Sanscrit is a dead language now 
and very few people can understand it well : though 
this is the case, learned Brahmins, who intend to give 
their boys a good education would never think of 
teaching them Hindee first, which in the present age 
is their mother tongue and which the boys could learn 
easily. Where they to learn Hindee first, they would 
be better prepared to study Sanscrit : but learning it 
is beneath them ; and thus a boy at once commences 
to repeat Sanscrit sounds out of his grammar with- 
out understanding in the least degree what he re- 
peats ; this he does for seven or eight years ; after 
this the tutor begins to explain to him what he has 
been repeating so long. His repeating his grammar for 
so many years without understanding any thing of it is 
of course a very geat loss of time ; but that is no- 
thing to a Hindoo ; it is the custom, and he must do 
it ; if he goes out of the beaten track to find out a 
better and a speedier way of acquiring or imparting 
knowledge, he will te called a fool; he must do as 
the age before him has done ; this is the reason that 
the manners and customs of the Hindoos have, in a 
great measure, remained unaltered during thousands 
of years. After studying one or two grammars the 
young Brahmin goes on with other Sanscrit books if 
he is in good circumstances and his father wish- 
es him to be a tolerably learned man ; — if not, he only 
studies that book which teaches him the duties of a 
priest ; this is soon over and is in fact no learning 
and those who stop here are not much better than 
those who have never studied any thing. A large 
number of Brahmins who act as priests have never 
studied even the grammar : they have only learned 
to repeat some Sanscrit passages that are used at pooja" 
and certain ceremonies with a general knowledge of 

1 If ] 

what is meant in these passages. A great many of 
those Brahmins that do not act as priests, but are 
merchants or farmers, study only the Hindee in 
which they carry on their business. Learning among 
Brahmins in the time of the Hindoo Eajahs was 
perhaps prevalent ; but in the present age they 
are very ignorant ; the Sanscrit literature is im- 
mense and there is not one in a thousand who can 
read and understand any difficult book. In Benares, 
which is the stronghold of Hindooism, and in a few 
other places there are really learned men who can 
understand and explain the most difficult Sanscrit 
books ; but the thousands of those who are called 
Pandits ( or learned ) in every part of Hindoostan are 
merely nominally so ; they have the appearance of a 
Pandit, that is they were long dhotee** and paint their 
foreheads, and can perhaps read a few Sanscrit books 
of modern and easy style ; but this is all. There are 
thousands of Brahmins who do not know even so 
much ; again there are hundreds of thousands who 
are altogether illiterate and do not know even a single 
letter of the Hindee Alphabet ; this is being mentally 
lower than people of other castes considered inferior 
by them, — because many of them can read Sanscrit, 
Hindee, and Persian. All these Brahmins who are 
quite illiterate are farmers or peons, or support them- 
selves by some such trades or situations that require 
no education. 

The Brahmins, says a European Writer, " are sub- 
jected to such severe duties, that ( celibacy excepted) 
very few of the Catholic monks can bear a comparison 
with them. The Brahmin must spend a number of 
years in the house of his instructor ( Gooroo ) until 
he can well expound the Vedas, which is a long and 

* The cloth that serves for trousers, 

B B 

C 18 1 

tedious study. Then only he may or rather he mud 
marry, and become the father of a family. His daily 
life is bound by a strict ritual ; the many prayers, 
ablutions, and sacrifices imposed upon the Brahmin 
demand a great portion of his time, as the facility 
with which he may defile himself ( which must be 
atoned for by penance ) requires uncommon vigilance/' 
" In old age it is a rule, or at least a custom, for the 
Brahmins to go into solitude, and to devote them- 
selves to self-beholding (contemplation), whereby 
alone Nirvani (aborption into the Supreme Being 
can be obtained,"* The same Author in another 
place of his work talks of the Brahmin's* life being of 
severe trials. But we, being on the spot where Brah- 
mins live, say, that they lead as comfortable and easy 
lives as any other human being in this part of the 
world. The writer, who says all this, has never been to 
India, but has only read their ancient books. A 
Brahmin hore does not spend a number of years in the 
house of his instructor, but lives in his own house ; a 
disciple, however, serves his teacher as much as he 
can, and one in a thousand sometimes leaves his home 
and goes to Benares or some other sacred place and 
studies with some learned teacher for a number of 
years. Brahmins, if they only have means, marry long 
before they can expound the Vedas. The prayers 
ablutions, and sacrifices of a Brahmin do not take up 
a great portion of his time. His abstaining to eat 
with people of lower castes and keeping himself from 
pollution in other ways requires no effort on his part ; 
doing all this is a second nature to him ; and besides 
it is nothing peculiar to him, — but people of all castes 
do the same with reference to those that are below 
them. The Brahmins never go into solitude ; but in; 
every part of their life live with their families. In 

* Count M. Bjornstjerna'B Theogony of the Hindoos. p<l& 


short, they do not lead a hard life : if they have got 
means, they live in all that luxury in which people of 
other castes live. If they are poor, they have to ex- 
ert themselves some way or other to maintain them- 
selves and their families. 

Brahmins support themselves in different ways, 
Many act as priests to others ; they are employed in 
this capacity by wealthy people of other castes on a 
monthly pay that ranges from one rupee to four, be- 
sides what they get on holidays and festivals ( which 
are numerous in the year ) and at weddings, births, 
and deaths which take place in the family. A priest 
has generally a number of families under his spiritual 
care. * Besides performing pooj& or worship, he helps 
at weddings, births, and deaths, and also acts as an 
astrologer. Most of the priests cs:n thus make on an 
average seven or eight rupees a month ; some more 
and others less. Many Brahmins support themselves 
by teaching students Sanscrit. They take no fixed 
sums from their scholars but leave their wages to 
their capacity and pleasure. They are paid by them 
in very/ small sums of money, and grain, flour, and 
pieces of cloth. This is, however, a very poor means 
of support as the scholars themselves are in general 
poor. A few Pandits here and there who have got 
other means teach gratis. A great many Brahmins 
go about begging ; this they think no disgrace, but 
say, it is one of their allowed means of support. 
Some of these begging Brahmins pretend to tell for- 
tunes also. They see the lines on a man's palm and 
pretend to interpret them and tell him what will be- 
fal him in after life ; they always take care to tell him 
good news. Sometimes their mistakes are so manifest 
that a hearty laugh is raised by people against them ; 
for instance, they will see the lines about hia palm or 

[-20 ] 

thumb and tell him he will soon be married, when the 
man is married already, — and so forth. These people 
most generally impose upon women when their men 
are absent from home, and work well upon their cre- 
dulity; and as soon as they get something hurry 
away from the place, lest they should be observed by 
some male member of the family. A fortune telling 
Brahmin will often minutely enquire into the past condi- 
tion, circumstances and incidents of a Hindoo of rank 
or wealth to whom he is an utter stranger, and then 
come to him and tell him all that, pretending that he 
has acquired this information in a supernatural way. 
The Hindoo will be quite astonished to hear all this 
about himself from an utter stranger, will believe in 
his pretended power and give him something. The 
fortune teller will not, of course, enquire about the 
man from his servants or relations on the spot ; but 
from some neighbour, or acquaintance or relation 
living somewhere else. There are thousands of Brah- 
mins who maintain themselves by merchandise and 
thousands again by farming, and a great number by 
acting as soldiers in the British Army and as peons 
in various Government offices. 

Brahmins are of various sects and some of them 
use animal food and others do not. Animals are 
killed by those that eat flesh, but only certain kinds 
of them, such as sheep, he goats, deer, rabbits, pigeons 
partridges, and some others that are considered clean 
and lawful. Some of those who do not use animal 
food make now and then soup of gravel. They pick 
up two or three handfuls of small and clean gravel 
and boil it in powdered turmerick and other spices ; 
they say a kind of grease is extracted from the gravel. 
After boiling it for half an hour or so, they take 
the gravel out of the soup and throw it away and 


[ 21 ] 

eat cakes with the soup. The poorer classes of Brah- 
mins are gluttonous ; feeding them is considered very 
meritorious by people of other castes, and when they 
are invited to these religious dinners they eat a great 
deal ; some of them can devour about four pounds of 
solid food at a meal. All Brahmins claim to be gods 
and are considered so by others* People frequently 
prostrate themselves at their feet and they receive 
this worship with the greatest complacency and satis- 
faction. Very often, however, when a quarrel or af- 
fray takes place between them and people of other 
castes, they are abused and beaten, and sometimes 
murdered too. Hundreds of these gods are thrown 
into prisons by the British Government for their 
crimes ; and they are hanged too. Notwithstanding 
these humiliating circumstances Brahmins are still 
gods in the estimation of the Hindoos ! In the time 
of the Hindoo Rajahs they exercised great power, and 
were indeed very tyrannical ; and in those states that 
are yet immediately under Hindoo Rajahs they still 
claim great authority. But under the British Go- 
vernment they are on a level with the other castes, and 
a Brahmin of the highest sect, when convicted of a 
crime, has to work hard side by side with the dirtiest 
sweeper, — the meanest being in the creation in his 

CEhattries.* The next caste is that of the War- 
riors. All the males of this .caste have the title of 
Singh, which is affixed to their names, and means a 
Lion. People of one or two lower castes now a days 
sometimes assume this title, though they would never 
pretend to maintain a claim to it before a Chhattree. 
Chhattries also take the Janeo or sacred cord about 
the age that the Brahmins do. In the time of the 

* They are also called Th&koors and Rajpoota. 

[ 22 ] 

Hindoo Rajahs they were the only soldiers, and always 
made excellent warriors. Fighting for the protection 
of their country is according to the Hindoo Scriptures 
their imperative duty. 

Their own weapons are a sword, a spear, and a 
shield that hangs at the hack when it is not used. 
In former times when gunpowder was not invented 
and warriors used to come in contact with each other 
with swords, battles of course used to be very bloody, 
and those were the times to try the true soldier. The 
glittering of a naked sword was enough to strike ter- 
ror into the hearts of people of other castes ; but the 
Chhattries thought it their glory to face such swords. 
Hindoo Kings used to be of this caste ; but they had 
Brahmins for their counsellors. In the present day, 
a great many of them are employed in the British 
Army ; but this service is not confined to them, — people 
of other castes also are engaged. All are trained 
in the European manner and make good soldiers. 
There are thousands of Chhattries who act as mer- 
chants and farmers and peons and so forth. Mem- 
bers of this caste are allowed to study the San- 
scrit language ; but they must not read the Veds or 
the most sacred of the Hindoos Scriptures ; — they 
may only hear them. The majority can read Hindee, 
and the favourite books of all them are the Mahabha- 
rat and the Ramayan, especially the latter. Both of 
these were originally written in Sanscrit and were 
afterwards translated into Hindee by a learned Hindoo. 
These books are read by nearly all of them in Hindee. 
The reason why they are perused by them with so 
great an interest, is, that they contain accounts of the 
great wars that took place in ancient times. The 
Ramayan, which describes a great war waged by Ram, 
king of Ajodhya or Oude and one of the Hindoo 


[ 23 ] 

incarnations, against Hawaii, a celebrated king of 
Ceylon, is the constant companion of eyery Chhattree. 

The Ramayan aud the Mahabharat both in Sans- 
crit and Hindee are in verse and are works of no or- 
dinary poets. 

The Warriors are in general a proud race and look 
with a degree of contempt on all castes that are below 
them. They used formerly to oppress the poor, and 
do so still in those parts of the country that are not 
directly under the British. 

These are the people that do not like to have daugh- 
ters, and who were till lately in the habit of killing 
them even finder the British Government. Once, a Mo- 
homedan b eing in a village in Oude, where there were 
a great many Ghhattries had a daughter and was ad- 
vised by these people to kill her ; being much in their 
company and imbibing many of their notions and pre- 
judices he intended to do so ; but his wife, who had a 
daughter for the first time, heard of his intention, 
fled from the house with the baby, and hid herself in a 
thicket outside of the village. Her friends made a di- 
ligent search for her, found her at last in the thicket, 
and prevailed upon her to leave her place of conceal- 
ment and go into the house only upon the condition 
that her daughter should not be killed. The word was 
given and kept. The child lived, grew up to be a 
woman, and had a family. 

A large number of Chhattries are landholders, and 
in this capacity are always quarrelling and fighting 
among themselves ; very few of them, if any at all 
enjoy peace of mind, and they very frequently kill 
each other. Hindoo landholders are the most litigious 

[ 24 ] 

people in the world, and always have some complaint 
or other in courts ; rather than settle a matter peace- 
ably they will pursue each other with the most deadly 
hatred, and thus the lands, chattels, cattle, and even the 
houses of many are sold, and they are reduced to a 
most destitute condition. Fathers, very often, become 
bitter enemies to sons ; and sons to fathers ; and bro- 
thers to each other ; and all often kill each other* 
The fire of enmity almost always rages in the breast of 
a Hindoo landholder, and when the cause of it is some- 
what of an extraordinary nature he avenges himself af- 
ter ten or even twenty years if an opportunity offers. 

Vyshes, or merchants. This is the third Hindoo 
caste. Europeans, who speak of Hindoo castes, always 
include in this class farmers, and sometimes trades- 
men too ; but this is not the case here ; — the two lat- 
ter belong to the Sooddur or fourth general class. All 
merchants even do not belong to this third caste, but 
many of them are of the fourth comprehensive one. 
People of this third class also have the Janeo, or the 
sacred cord. They trade in different articles and carry 
on their merchandise both by wholesale and retail. 
The wholesale merchandise is carried on by those who 
are possessed of thousands and hundreds of thousands 
of rupees, and the retail by those who are possessed 
only of small means. The poor Vyshes or Baniyds, as 
they are commonly called, have small shops and a few 
things at a time. Many of them keep those things 
that make the staff of life with a few others that are 
in common use among people. They sell flour ( of 
different kinds of grain, such as wheat, peas, and so 
forth, ) suttoo, ( flour of some parched grain, ) salt, 
clarified butter, parched grain, ( much used, especially 
by travellers. ) hard molasses, called goor, sugar of dif- 
ferent degrees of refinement, spices of every kind, such 

t 25 ] 

as cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, pepper, cayenne pep- 
per, nutmegs, allspice, and some other such things. 
All these are cheap ; the dearest common article is 
ghee, or clarified butter, which sells from five to six 
pounds per rupee. A Baniyd, who deals in these 
things, has two or three small rooms to serve as a 
store-house ; he keeps his articles in earthen pots piled 
one upon another. In front of these rooms he has a 
a small verandah in which he sits with a portion of 
every thing, — almost all the things being here in bas- 
kets. He sells all his articles by weight and nothing 
by measure ; he keeps leaves of a small tree of the 
oak kind in which he puts up spices and such little 
things for his customers ; these leaves serve the same 
purpose in this country that paper does in Europe and 
America ; they are brought from the country by some 
poor people and sold at a trifling price. Baniyas in 
towns and cities keep every thing that can be required 
by people ; but those living in small villages, who are 
generally so poor that the whole of their capital is not 
worth more than fifteen or twenty rupees, have only 
a few things, and those too of an inferior quality ; 
people living in villages are in general very poor and 
do not use those things that inhabitants of towns and 
cities do. In cities there are scores of Baniyas' shops ; 
in the country there is seldom more than one in each 
village. People, in general, do not take flour from 
Baniyas, because it is coarse and mixed with flour of 
an inferior kind, and dearer also than what they can get 
in other ways. They purchase grain from the market, 
where every sort of grain is daily exposed for sale in large 
heaps, from a class of men called Bypdrees, which also 
means merchants, and get it ground by women of their 
own families and also by others who support them- 
selves by grinding for people. 

Some of the Baniyas deal in confectionary. These 


[ 26 1 

sweetmeats are made of fine flour, clarified butter, su- 
gar and sugar candy, raisins, cardamoms, rosewater, 
and a few other things in different ways, and those of 
the best quality are sold about nine pounds per rupee. 
These people make also two or three kinds of cakes of 
flour fried in ghee, ( poorees and kachaurees, ) which 
are mostly used by travellers and strangers who do 
not like to take the trouble to cook their food, or who 
have not got oooking utensils with them. They also 
deal in cream, boiled milk, and curdled milk ( dahee, ) 
which latter is quite thick, and being of cooling nature 
is much used in the hot season. Those who deal in these 
ready made eatables are called Halwaees ; and the 
dg ilk that they sell and that of which cream and cur- 
dled milk are made they procure from the people of 
the caste called Aheers or cowherds. 

There are some people of this caste who act as Apo- 
thecaries and Druggists also. Such men in large ci- 
ties have all the plants, herbs, and drugs in their 
shops that are believed to be possessed of medicinal 
qualities. The number of these plants and drugs in 
a tropical and such an extensive country, as India is, 
amounts to thousands. They do not sell ready pre- 
pared medicines, but only the ingredients of which 
they are made. When native physicians prescribe for 
their patients, they name the ingredients in the pres- 
cription and the mode of preparing the medicine ; the 
patient himself or his friends make it according to the- 
direction. Almost all plants, herbs, and drugs are 
kept in earthen pots. 

A vast number of Vyshes are cloth-merchants and 

deal in all sorts of linen and woollen stuffs. If they 

are possessed of a large capital (say about seventy or 

or eighty thousand rupees), they deal in these things 

[ 27 ] 

by wholesale ; if possessed only of small means, they 
sell by retail. The former mostly deal with the lat- 
ter, and the latter with the people. Many of the 
stuffs that they sell are manufactured in different 
parts of the country, but a good many of their articles 
are imported from Europe. Cloth merchants have 
their articles in the bundles in storehouses, but sit in 
a verandah with some pieces, and as customers wish 
to inspect different stuffs, they bring them out. It ' 
takes some time to make a bargain with them, more 
especially if a good many rupees are involved in the 
transaction. When a customer announces his desire for 
purchasing some kind of cloth, three or four pieces of 
that kind are thrown before him and he is asked to 
make his choice. These pieces that are shown him 
at first are generally of an inferior quality, and are 
presented at first with the view of selling them off to 
advantage if possible, as the good pieces of that kind 
that remain are sure to bring in a good price of them- 
selves. If the customer be inexperienced in these 
matters, he is taken in, that is, he is satisfied with 
the quality of the pieces and pays as if they were of 
the best kind ; but if he possesses any knowledge of 
the different kinds and qualities of cloth and of the 
trieks of merchants he call for articles of the best kind ; 
these the merchant does not bring out at once ; but 
the customer is not satisfied till he has them. When 
the customer has made his choice the price is talked 
about. The merchant is asked to say what he will 
take per yard ; the latter, before mentioning the price, 
almost always asks, whether he may tell the truth at 
once or make a bargain according to fashion, which 
latter means, whether he may say the price of the ar- 
ticle three or four times more than it is really worth. 
He is desired by the customer to tell the truth at once ; 
xm this, the merchant tells his price per yard ; but it 

[ 28 ] 


is always twice or thrice the things' real worth and 
more than what he will in the end give it for. The 
bargain always takes some time ; the length of it de- 
pends upon the extent of the purchase ; if it amounts 
to twenty or thirty rupees, it seldom takes less than an 
hour, and a customer has almost always to visit two 
or three or four shops before he is able to accommo- 
date himsel£ These people are very expert in the 
measurement of cloth and can always manage to give 
less unless customers continue eyeing them sharply 
when they are measureing. After they have measured 
a piece they fold it up ; while they are doing so, cus- 
tomers even than have to keep their eyes on them 
. lest they should change the piece and give them one 
of an inferior quality ; they can do so in an instant 
and with facility as crowds in the street and about the 
shops are apt to attract the attention of purchasers, 
.and people coming in from the country are often 
cheated by them in this manner ; they also often find 
their pieces a few yards shorter than what they have 
paid for. An honest man may try his best to convince 
them and indeed all other merchants that their deceit- 
ful practices are exceedingly wrong ; — they will never 
believe him, but will on the contrary laugh at him 
and think him a great fool for his pains ; they say, 
these practices are a means of their livelihood and an 
important part of their trade ; and they really believe 
that there is not the least moral evil in them. They 
always say, how could they support themselves if they 
were not to do so ? and yet these men are very strict 
in their daily devotions, and consider themselves very 
religious and also holy. Thousands of them deal in 
cotton, saltpetre, silver and gold laces, and a hundred 
other things. 

In all the large and commercial cities of Northern 

- t 29 ] 


India their is a class of men called dalldls who make 
their living by pretending to help in making bargains 
between merchants and customers. There are dalldU 
for all the principal articles of commerce, and in cities 
people can seldom manage to make their own bargains, 
they are ever on the alert to get in between merchants 
and customers. The truth is, that they league with 
merchants and in bargains very often make customers 
suffer loss. Outwardly they profess to act for the 
customer ; but the merchants are their old friends 
and understand them very well and know what they 
are at. The dalldls have, from time immemorial, form- 
ed themselves into a professional body and think 
they have a perfect right to get in between the two 
parties. They have an understanding with merchants 
and always take something from them out of the 
money paid by the customer as a remuneration for 
their labour, part of which consists in procuring 
them purchasers. These merchants and bargain-ma- 
kers have a secret way of their own by which they 
make the most important bargains without uttering 
a single word about the price, and this they do in the 
presence of other people. The merchant and the dal- 
Idl put their right hands under a piece of cloth to 
prevent the motions of the fingers from being per- 
ceived. The fingers and their joints represent pieces 
of money, and by them the price per yard or seer or 
maund (weights) is made known ; they simply use the 
words yen or no to show their consent or dissent. 
Thousands of these Baniyas, who are possessed of more 
capital deal on a large scale in cotton, saltpetre, indi- 
go, and a hundred other things. A very few are em- 
ployed here and there in some other ways. 

Many of this class who have got a great deal of 
wealth act as Bankers. They have got banks in some 


[ 30 ] 

of the largest cities of India and transmit money for 
people by drafts by which they make Vast sums every 
year. A great many act as money-changers ; they 
purchase copper coins to advantage and sell them at 
the fixed rate ( and often above the rate too when 
there is a comparative scarcity of them ) to people who 
are desirous of getting pice ( or copper coins ) for ru- 
pees. In large and populous towns and cities this 
business is also lucrative, or at least remunarative, as 
copper coins are in great demand, because the greater 
parts of the daily exchanges of a man's life takes place 
rather in pice than in rupees. 

People of this caste pretend to rejoice at the death 
of a friend or relation, and those, who are wealthy, 
throw out alms ( consisting of pieces of copper mo- 
ney ) while the body is borne away to be burnt. They 
say, that they should rejoice because their friend is 
gone away from a world of suffering to one where 
there is perfect happiness ; this rejoicing is, however, 
merely nominal ; — there is no truth in it. On the 
same plea, they profess to be sorrowful when a birth 
takes place in their families ; this is also another 
piece of hypocrisy. Of all the four principal classes 
into which Hindoos are divided this is by for the 
wealthiest ; in fact, their very profession is to accu- 
mulate wealth, and some of them are indeed possessed 
of immense sums of it ; the wealth of some of them 
would almost appear to exceed all practical human 
Arithmetic. They have Banks and factories in almost 
all the principal cities of India, and since they enjoy 
perfect security of life, honour, and property, their 
business flourishes and brings in a good deal of addi- 
tional wealth. Under the Mohomedan Government 
they were never so safe ; they were obliged to pur- 
chase the friendship and protection of the Moslem 

[ M 1 

Rules at a dear prioe, and used to carry on merchant- 
dise at a great risk. 

The people of this caste are very effeminate. They 
cannot stand hard labour ; and whenever they quarrel 
and have high words, they very seldom come to blows. 
The saying is very common in the country that when 
two Baniyas quarrel and threaten to beat each other 
instead of using the stones and brickbats that may be 
lying loose in the streets, they will pretend to try to 
loosen those that are stuok fast in the ground ; 
these they are unable to loosen at the moment and 
thus save themselves the pain that they would feel 
by pelting stones at each other. They do not keep any 
weapons in their houses. As they very seldom do any 
hard work, but the vast majority of them, being mer- 
chants in some way or other, sit in their shops, tailor 
fashion, the whole day, and at the same time live on 
nourishing diet, they are inclined to be corpulent^ 
This corpulency is observed mostly about the middle 
part of the body. They are the most avaricious class 
in the country and this is well known to all. The low- 
est piece that passes for money in India is a cowree or 
small shell ; there are about two hundred and twelve 
shells in a penny, and about a hundred and two in a 
cent, yet when they can, they will not let one of these 
courrees go. When a beggar comes before their shops 
to beg, they give ' him a couple of these cowrm* 
They are a very shrewd people, understand their in- 
terests very well, and always manage their concerns 
with the greatest care and caution. 

[ 32 ] 



Sooddurs or the fourth general Class — Kayasths or Writers- 

The fourth general class of the Hindoos is that of 
the Sooddurs, consisting of hundreds of divisions and 
subdivisions. The highest caste among the Sooddurs 
is that of the Kdyasths or Writers, though many of them 
are ashamed to be numbered in this class, and would 
fain reckon themselves in the next higher caste ; which 
however disowns them. The sacred Writings of the 
Hindoos allow the sacred cord to this caste also ; but 
Kayasths of every part of the country do not wear it. 
These people believe themselves to be the descendants 
of a certain personage in heaven, who acts as a writer 
and keeps an account of every thing that take place 
there. Kayasths support themselves in various ways, 
A great many of them act as Patwarees or recorders 
and writers of accounts of tracts of land that each land- 
holder and cultivator has, and also of the revenue re- 
alized from those tracts. For this work they get as 
commissions something from the landholders. A 
good many Kayasths get their livelihood by 
teaching boys the Hindee language and Hindee 
Arithmetic. All the instruction that they impart 
to their pupils < is meant to make them able to 
read and write letters and work sums about the pur- 
chase and sale of commodities, land, and so forth. As 
a remuneration for their labour they get two or three 
annas per month from each scholar, besides a few 
monthly and yearly perquisites. During the month 

[ 33 ] 

each pupil supplies him twice or thrice with raw ma- 
terials for his victuals ; thus if he has twenty scholars 
( which on an average is the usual number that a good 
teacher has in a large town ) he will have enough of 
victuals during the month for himself and his family. 
Each scholar is bound to give at a time that quantity 
of raw materials which would make a meal for the 
man. These materials are flour ( sometimes rice in- 
stead ) some kind of dal ( pulse ) a little ghee, a small 
portion of salt, and a few spices. Thus if a teacher 
has twenty scholars and most of them are in tolerably 
good 'circumstances he can have between fifty and sixty 
meals in a month which can support himself his wife 
and two or three children. At the time of great fes- 
tivals they get more eatables and also clothes. There 
is a festival in which a teacher takes all his pupils 
round to their parents and makes them sing at their 
doors, and gets something for it : it may be in favour- 
able circumstances about twenty rupees. Taking the 
yearly income of a good teacher of this caste into con- 
sideration he gets on an average six rupees a month. 
But many, who live in poor villages do not get more 
than half this amount. On the whole this is a poor 
means of livelihood and the majority of these teachers 
are perhaps worse off than any other class of Hindoos ; 
the reason of which is that the mass of people are 
regardless of education- 
Hundreds of this caste act as lawyers in all the 
courts of the country, and in this capacity beat all the 
lawyers of the world. The greater part of the business 
of the Government in Northern India is carried on in the 
Oordoo or a mixture of Hindee, Arabic, and Persian ; 
but it is more of the two latter than of the former ; 
in fact, the construction of sentences and the idiom 
are Persian with few Hindee words here and there- 


These lawyers learn the Persian language in which 
they do all their business both public and private ; 
in fact, they correspond in it, use much of it in their 
conversation, and forgetting that their mother tongue 
is Hindee look down upon those of their brethern who 
know only Hindee. All these lawyers are like half 
starved greedy wolves and rob without the least mercy 
all those who happen to have any thing to do with 
them. These people pretend to be very pious, and put 
on an air of great sanctity as soon as their trade be- 
gins to flourish. They are very strict in the observance 
of the ceremonies of their religion which are trifling 
and childish enough, but would think nothing of ha- 
ling an innocent man to the gallows if they could make 
something by it. Part of the morning they spend in 
devotion, which consists in bathing, and worshipping 
images ; and then the greater part of the day they 
devote to the grossest dishonesty, falsehood, robbery, 
oppression, indirect murder, . and so forth. They will 
be wilfully and deliberately guilty of the grossest 
crimes if they can only make something by it. They 
do not seem to have got the least correct notion about 
virtue and vice ; they, with other Hindoos, talk a great 
deal of pdp or sin, and pooun or virtue, but do not 
know what they mean. They would seem to believe 
that the whole of virtue consists in observing the cere- 
monies of their religion ; and provided they do so they 
can commit any sin they like. Dishonesty, oppression, 
and all such crimes, they say, are a necessary part of 
their profession and means of subsistence and they 
could not support themselves without them*. They 

* It is said, once, when some bhdnds or buffoons were performing, 
one of them asked another, whether any one had seen the Devil's 
bachchas, ( young ones ). I have seen," said he. " Who are 
they f ' a3ked he again. " The Laxoyers, because they are always 
doing more mischief than good/' replied the other one. 

[ 35 ] 

are certainly amongst the most faithful servants of 
the Wicked Spirit ; and these men, with those that are 
connected with the police and the courts in different 
ways are amongst the most abominable beings in the 
world ; it seems as if they were infernal spirits in hu- 
man shape. Hundreds of them are employed by Go- 
vernment in other capacities, but mostly as writers, all 
practising as much dishonesty as their situations al- 
io w them. 

All the Kayasths that learn Persian and carry on 
their business in it are called " half Mohomedans," 
that is, they are said not to be strict Hindoos ; their 
conversation savours more of Mohomedanism than 
Hindooism ; the reason of which is that all the Persian 
books that they study have a leaven of Mohomedanism, 
and some are mostly taken up with the doctrines of 
this religion, and these Kayasths imbibe these notions. 
In fact, they believe the religion of the Moslems to be 
true, though it refutes the one they profess ; this is 
one of their many inconsistencies. Almost all Kayasth 
boys that study Persian do so from Mohomedan tea- 
chers ; besides small sums of money that these teachers 
receive monthly from their scholars as their wages,, 
they also get meals from some of them, and many 
Kayasth boys wash the cups and plates of these tea- 
chers, though no orthodox Hindoo is allowed to do so 
by his Shasturs. In the eyes of Hindoos, Mohome- 
dans and Christians are both unclean, and the food 
that they eat is also so unclean that no Hindoo must 
even touch it. But these boys wash the cups and 
plates of these teachers, though they may have even 
eaten beef out of them, one of the worst things that 
an orthodox Hindoo could touch. Hindoos of all res- 
pectable classes are forbidden to eat onions, garlic, 
and turnips, but all Kayasths use these things most 

[ 36 ] 

freely and publicly ;— -they give a great deal to Brah- 
mins, who on this account take no notice of their in- 
consistency. No orthodox Hindoo of the higher and 
middle castes would dare even to touch a fowl,— it is 
thought so unclean ; but there is a sect among the 
Kayasths, called Bhat ndgars, towards the western parts 
of Northern India who eat fowls and are notwithstand- 
ing considering good and respectable Hindoos. All 
Kayasths are very fond of meat also and use a great 
deal of it, though not so much as the Mohomedans 
do. They are also addicted to the use of intoxica- 
ting liquor and use it most freely both at home and 
in their meetings. The majority of this class make a 
great deal of money in Government service, but 
they are in general very extravagant, and as a class 
are not so wealthy as the third caste of Hindoos, — the 
Baniyas or merchants. They are more liberal to Brah- 
mins than the people of any other caste ; and the 
priests in their tm*n flatter them, call them very pious 
and eay they are possessed of great spiritual merit. 
For the sake of a little gain, priests countenance all 
the vices that Kayasths commit in their situations and 
other ways ; and the latter believe, if they make thou- 
sands of rupees by the most dishonest means and 
give a little of it to Brahmins the whole affair is sane - 
tified and they are not chargeable with the least sin. 

Some of those Kayasths that possess no education 
and cannot therefore act as lawyers, teachers, or writers, 
support themselves as peons or agriculturists ; but 
really very few of them are found in these capacities. 
Compared with every other class of Hindoos, the Ka- 
yasths are few in number. 

In another subdivision of the fourth general caste or 
that of the Sooddurs are found the tillers of the land 

[37 ] 

or Farmers. These again have scores of classes which 
we need not enumerate. The whole class of the origi- 
nal agriculturists, however, consists of two larger divi- 
sions (Kisnans and Kachhees,) one of which devotes 
itself chiefly to the production of grain with one 
or two other things, and the other, besides grain, raises 
also all sorts of vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Far- 
mers in this country always plough their fields with 
bullocks. All the land in the country belongs of 
course to Government ; certain wealthy people of dif- 
ferent castes make contracts with Government for the 
revenue of certain portions of land. Cultivators take 
small portions of land from these landholders, or Za- 
meendars, as they are called, and cultivate it and pay 
- the landholders the amount of rent per acre fixed by 
Government. In those parts of the country that are 
directly under native Princes great extortion and 
oppression is practised upon cultivators by Collectors 
of land revenue; very often, they embezzle Government 
money and then compel the cultivators to pay some- 
thing extra to make it up ; and when they see the 
land has produced more than its usual quantity of grain, 
they force the agriculturists to pay them more than the 
fixed rent. This surplus revenue they use for them- 
selves. Such extortion, however, cannot be practised by 
Collectors in the British territory ; here they dare not 
take more than what is fixed by Government. All 
that revenue collecting peons can do is, they will go 
and ask for some grain while the people are threshing 
it out : thus they get a few seers of it. Some of them 
' who have cows at hand will ask for some bhoosd (husks 
of grain and its stalks in a bruised form,) which they 
will get. Landholders also take some blioosd from 
their tenants, and n>w and then make them work gra- 
tis for themselves ; and when cultivators have no cash 
to pay the rent at harvest time, they ( the landhold- 

[ 38 ] 
ere) take grain from them instead to some advantage. 

A Farmer's eircumstances are known to be favour- 
able or otherwise by the number of ploughs that he 
can use on his farm and the number of pairs of 


bullocks that he can keep. If he be a poor man, he 
can cultivate but a small portion of land, only a few 
acres and can keep only one pair of bullocks. The 
produce of such a small piece of land can support 
( provided there be a timely and sufficient quantity 
of rain ) a family of six or seven persons, — this num- 
ber including two or three children. If a farmer be in 
good circumstances, he can cultivate a larger tract of 
land and keep four or five pairs of bullocks ; his in- 
come is greater, and he can live comfortably, according 
to the Hindoo idea of comfort ; — that is, he can have a 
higher and larger house, a great many cooking and 
eating utensils of brass in his house ; the women of his 
family can have silver and gold ornaments, and use finer 
and gayer stuffs for their dressess ; he can oftener use 
finer flour and more ghee in the preparation of his dish- 
es ; he can with the greatest ease and convenience keep 
two or three cows and buffaloes, and have an abundance 
of milk and butter ; and he can use greater sums in 
weddings and feasts and thus make more noise than his 
poorer neighbours. Next to these in wealth and affluence 
are the landlwlders of this caste, many of whom live only 
on the profits of the landholdership, and some culti- 
v ate portions of land also. People of the Brahmin, War . 
rior, and Writer castes also are landholders, but here 
we are speaking only of the caste of the original far- 
mers. The land of Northern India ( of which alone 
we speak in these pages ) is very fruitful and produces 
two crops in the year ; one crop ( Rabee ) is reaped 
about March, and the other ( Khareef ) about October. 
The latter consists mostly of various sorts of small 

[ 39 ] 

grain. The lowest class of people in the country are 
Bliangees, Mehtars, or Sweepers ;• it is their business to 
remove filth, clean public streets, and keep swine. 
Farmers employ these sweepers to carry manure to 
their fields, which they do in coarse canvass bags, put 
on small bullocks. A man has only a single bullock 
to work for him, the reason of which is found in his 
poverty. This manure the sweepers are collecting for 
months and sell at the time of ploughing fields. Far- 
mers also collect for themselves as much as they can. 
It is placed in fields in several small heaps and is car- 
ried to all the parts of the field in small baskets when re- 
quired, which is before as well as after the field is ploughed. 
The manure is used for vegetables and certain grains. 

The plough is a simple implement, and the 
ploughshare that tears up the earth about a cubit 
long. The surface of the earth is soft, and ploughing 
it three or four times prepares it for the reception of 
the seed. Sowing grain is practised in three different 
ways ; — one is, that, while the field is being ploughed 
for the last time a man walks behind the plough and 
drops seed in the furrow. Another way is, that, a long 
tube is attached to the plough and is perpendicular 
to the furrow ; while the plough is moving forward the 
man' that holds it drops seed in the tube at the upper 
end, and the seed falls in the furrow at the other end. 
The third is, that, the seed is throw and scattered over 
the surface of the field with the hand ; small grain 
is sown in this manner. After the seed of the larger 
kind is sown, a pretty wide and long plank with the 
driver on it is dragged over the field by a pair of bul- 
locks ; this operation covers the seed and. makes the 
surface of field even and smooth. This plank is not, how- 
ever, used for the smaller grain ; but the field is again 
slightly ploughed, which answers the same purpose. 

t 40 ] 

Irrigation forms one Of the most important duties 
of a Hindoo agriculturist. After a good rainy season 
and at other times also when there are pretty heavy 
falls of rain, he is saved this labour ; but he is never 
throughout the year entirely free from it. ' In the 
rainy season farmers bound their fields with little 
banks, that they might retain and take in all the rain 
that falls in them. Every drop of it is precious and 
they are sorry when sometimes in their absence dur- 
ing the fall of a heavy and long continued shower 
some of it makes its way through the bank But af- 
ter a field is sown they will let it run out whom they 
think they have got as much as required for moist- 
ening the ground and the seed. All fields have 
wells attached to them for irrigation. The greater 
number of these wells are on a smaller scale, that is, 
they have no masonry work about them, their circum- 
ference is about one fourth of those that have it, and 
only one pair of bullocks can be used to -draw up water 
at a time. The act of irrigation requires two men, 
a pair of bullocks, a large leather bag, and a long, 
thick, stiff rope made of hemp. An inclined plane of 
earth is made adjoining the well A sufficient space 
is left between these two for a man to stand, and take 
hold of the leather bag and empty it when it comes 
up. One end of this inclined plane is raised above 
the surface of the earth about five or six feet, and the 
other is as many feet below it ; the earth that is dug up 
from this end is used for the other one. A light frame 
work is attached to the neck of the bullocks ; one end of 
the long rope is tied to the middle of this piece, and the 
other to the leather bag. The bullocks in pulling up 
the bag walk down the inclined plane, exerting them- 
selves hard as they go down. A man drives them, 
and when they get to that part of the plane, which is 
below the surface of the earth, he sometimes renders 

[ « ] 

them a little help by sitting on the rope. At that 
end of the inclined plane, which is at the edge of the 
well there are two strong and thick pieces of wood at 
about four feet distance from each other; a cross 
piece of wood rests upon these at the top, and round 
it turns a big and heavy pulley over which the rope 
goes. A man stands between the pieces of wood to. 
attend to the leather bag ; when it comes up, he gives 
the driver notice of it by a call (generally mentioning 
the name of the god ( " Ram jee" ). When the dri- 
ver hears this, he stops the bullocks from going down 
the slope further ; and the man at the well, who is always 
standing, pulls the bag towards himself and empties it 
at his feet. The water runs in a little canal to the 
beds into which a field is divided some time after the 
seed is sown, A third person is also sometimes re- 
quired to turn the course of the water to all the beds. 
A little boy or girl can, however, attend to this ; and 
thus the children of farmers are of great use to them 
even while they are young, and this is the reason that, 
the greater number of them cannot spare them to send 
them to school whenever they have got one in their 
neighbourhood. Women of farmers are also of great 
use to them in their calling and help them in various 
ways. Besides other duties they can attend also to 
the bag at the well, which is a pretty laborious and 
oftentimes a dangerous work ; most of the bags require 
the full strength of a man to pull them from over the 
well to themselves, and when women attend to this 
duty, they have to exert themselves to the utmost 
degree. They are not of course so strong as their men ; 
but among women they seem to be the strongest in 
this part of the world. While the bag is being taken 
over the well, the bullocks may recede a foot or two 
or turn round too soon ; in this case the bag is of 
Course very apt to go down and the person taking hold 

D D 

C « ] 

of it is in great danger of being carried down with it ; 
so he or she ( and particularly the latter, because the 
weaker ) has to be very careful. Death might be the 
consequence of a fall into a well ; and the narrower 
the well, the greater the danger ; because a person is 
apt to be killed by the mere bruises and knocks against 
the sides of the well, before he reaches the bottom. 
In the greater part of Northern India water is found at 
a great depth ; in the more western provinces they gen- 
erally dig forty-five or fifty feet before they get to it. 
In those parts that are much lower and nearer to the 
hills, they have to dig only a few feet. On one side of 
the inclined plane, about halfway up, they fasten in the 
ground a large baked earthen tub ( nand ) with a wide 
mouth ; in this they put some bhoosa ; and while the 
bag is being empted at the well, which takes 
about one or two minutes, the bullocks help themselves 
with one or two mouthfuls. They do this also for a 
longer time when the farmers are smoking or attend- 
ing to something else. Two persons always remain 
about the well, and one, generally a little boy or gir\, 
or an old woman, about the field to see that the water 
goes in the right direction. When there is nobody to 
attend to this last duty, one of the men about the 
well runs every now and then to see to it, — ffie bul- 
locks standing still in the meanwhile. A field is 
divided into beds, and lines are made between these 
beds into which the water runs. In some of the most 
western provinces farmers use the Persian Wheel. 

The grains that are raised in the country are various 
in kind. The best is the wheat, and is raised in large 
quantities. The others are rice, ( in some parts, ) 
chanA, mutter, oord, urhur, moong, masoor, mothee, 
barley, juar, bajrrf, sama, kakoonee, Indian corn, and a 
few others. The first seven are different kind of puke 

[ « ] 

and the others what are commonly called small grain. 
All of them are plentifully raised in the country. As 
long as people have a good rainy season they have an 
abundance of food and raiment and even of the luxu- 
ries of life. 


As the wheat is the best of our grains, and we may 
say of all grains in the world, it is always dearer than 
others. Its rate differs throughout Northern India, 
and depends partly upon the quantity raised, and part- 
ly upon that consumed in the different parts. Vast 
.quantities of it are consumed in cities, the inhabitants 
there being in better circumstances and more delicate. 
Most of the country people live on the smaller grain, 
except at the time of the wheat harvest, when it is 
much cheaper and all of them indulge in it for awhile. 
Even those country people that have wealth live part 
of the time on small grain and that with pleasure. 
Variety is agreeable in all things. * Though they are 
wealthy, they are hardy, and can digest food prepared 
of smaller grain ; which, however, is not the case with 
city-people, who are in general too delicate for thia 
grain, as food prepared of it is coarse. The cheapest 
rate of wheat is about thirty five seers per rupee ; and 
the dearest about twenty, unless it be a time of 
drought and general scarcity, when it may be only ten 
seers for the rupee. 

The pulse called chand ( Europeans in India call it 
gram) is a most useful and extensively cultivated grain. 
More of it is consumed than of any other pulse, — 
though it is not the dearest ; moong being higher in 
price. Country people live on it with pleasure, and 
even the wealthy of all parts make certain luxuries of 
its flour. It is used by Baniyas in making a sort of 
salted macaroni called seo ; good soup ( dal ) is made 

[ 44 ] 

of it ; for cleansing the body in bathing its flour 
( besun ) is an excellent substitute for soap, which is 
never touched by the higher and middle classes of 
Hindoos, in certain respects besun is much better than 
soap. Horses are universally and bullocks of the weal- 
thy classes are generally fed %n it. It is a great fa- 
vourite among the Hindoos and is used by them in 
every possible way. When people go to sow it, they 
help themselves to it as they move along with the 
plough, though it be in a raw state ; when it grow^ up 
two or three inches high, while it is yet tender and 
the flowers have not appeared, they pick off the tops 
of the plants, ( which makes the latter spread and be 
more fruitful ; ) this green ( srfg ) they eat raw with 
cayenne paper and salt, as well as in a cooked state 
with cakes ; it is also sold in the bazars. When grain 
has appeared in the plant ( which is now about a foot 
high ) before it is quite hard and in a ripe state, they 
pluck up plants and eat the grain both in a raw and 
parched state ; but the latter in more common. This 
they do by lighting a fire of straw and holding or pla- 
cing over the blaze the plants about twenty or thirty 
in number. When the chand is fully ripe to be reap- 
ed, reapers again help themselves to it as they are en- 
gaged in the work ; this they also do when they are 
threshing it. After this, it is used in eight or nine differ- 
ent ways. One of these ways is its being kept in a parched 
state by Baniyas for travellers by whom it is exten- 
sively used instead of the morning meal. Parched 
grain is also turned into flour, and then it is called 
Suttoo, which is also used by travellers. Pahalwans or 
Wrestlers too, who are always men of great physical 
power, use it to increase their strength. The chana^ 
it is said, once considered all this treatment as a mat- 
ter of great grievance and went to a certain god for 
redress. It sat on one of the palms of the god's hands 


[ 45 ] 

and there told him all its troubles. The god patient- 
ly heard all its story, and at last said, — " you are so 
very tempting, that I feel inclined to eat you up my- 
self." On hearing this, the chana instantly leaped from 
his hand and ran away despairing of redress from 
any quarter. » 

Mattar, oord, moong, masoor, urhur, and mothee ( dif- 
ferent kinds of pulse ) are all used mostly for thick 
soup, eaten with cakes. Mattar is also turned into 
flour for cakes. The oord has a small white mark at 
one end ; the Hindoos say, it has got a teekd, or a 
mark of respect ; and according to them, the wheat 
seeing that, though it is superior to the oord and yet 
has got no such mark of respect, grew very indignant, 
and in consequence of this rage, its body parted in 
two in front, ( chhdti pha( gai ). This they say, is the 
cause of the deep line on one side of the wheat grain. 
The moong is the dearest and the mildest and its soup 
(ddl) is greatly used by the sick. Barley, jooar, 
and other small grains are ground into flour for cakes. 
Some times jooar, and kakoonee (another small grain } 
are boiled as rice and eaten with buttermilk or milk. 

A great deal of Indian corn is raised, and the whole of 
it is consumed by the poorer classes. Horses, cows> 
and bullock are not fed on it. Our Indian com is not 
so mealy and nourishing as that of America. 

Rice is raised only in those parts of Northern India 
that are low and damp. It is not in universal use 
among the up-country people ; by the poorer classes 
it is used as a luxury, and by the wealthier as a change. 
Ifut were it ever so plentiful, Hindoos of Nort hern In- 
dia would never prefer living on it as it is not suffici- 
ently nourishing ; this is the reason, that the Bengal- 

[ 46 I 

ese, who live almost exclusively on rice and fish, are 
such a weak and effeminate race. The rate of rice 
varies throughout the country. It is very cheap in 
those parts where it is extensively raised ; in others < 
the dearest sort may be about ten and the cheapest 
about twenty seers per rupae. The smaller grain is 
always much cheaper than this latter rate, excepting 
the ckand, the highest rate of which is just about 
twenty, unless it be a time of general scarcity. 

When grain has begun to appear in the ears, culti- 
vators watch their fields day and night ; — in the latter 
to keep them from thieves, and in the former from 
thieves as well as birds. When the stalks of grain are 
high and they cannot have a view of the whole field 
by standing on the ground, they make a moird, and 
stand or sit on it. A moird consists of four poles stuck 
in the ground, with a bedstead or frame work of bam- 
boos or other strong sticks placed on them. At this 
time they keep constantly crying out to frighten birds, 
and also keep a long sling by which they throw stones 
at them. One of these slings will throw a stone to the 
distance of two or three hundred yards ; thus the moird 
being in a central place, if the field be an extensive 
one, he can keep away birds from every part of it. 

When the grain is fully ripe and hard they reap it, 
and put it in a clean part of the field, which they call 
the Rhaleehdn ; no barns are built and the grain is left 
in the open air. Wheat, chanri, and some others are 
threshed by making bullocks tread them for some 
hours. They spread the stalks with the ears in a space i 
covering an area of eight or ten yards in a circular 
form, in the middle of which they sometimes stick a 
pole and make four or five bullocks walk abreast round ♦ 
it. The mouth of the bullocks is of course muzzled 

t « 1 

while engaged in this work ; and a man keeps behind 
then to drive them. Jooar and some other smaller 
grains are threshed by beating the ears with sticks. 

Wh6n the stalks are sufficiently trodden or beat- 
en so as to separate the grain from the husk, 
they take baskets full of it, and in a standing position 
slowly drop it down, which, when there is a slight 
breeze, separates the husk from the grain ; the latter 
falling just at ^he feet of the man, and the former be- 
ing blown by the wind to a short distance from him. 
This is their mode of winnowing. When they have 
cleared all the grain from the husks they immediately 
sell part of it to liquidate the debt which they have 
incurred to pay the revenue ; but if they have paid it 
already, they keep the grain in granaries or in large 
holes dug under ground till a convenient opportunity 
for sale offers itself. Husks of wheat, barley, chana, 
oord, mothee, urhur, and one or two others, which are 
broken very small in threshing, as well as the large 
stalks of the jooar (about five or six feet high) are 
laid up and sold on very advantageous terms for cattle. 
Part of it of course they keep for their own beasts. 
After a field is reaped poor people are allowed to pick 
up the grain that lies in it here and there. 

The vegetables raised in Northern India are various, 
and for some of them there are no names in English. 
We have common potatoes, sweet potatoes, (these 
latter of two sorts, the one with a white skin, and the 
other with a red one, with a difference in their tastes 
and price too, ) cabbages, carrots, radishes, egg-plants, 
tamatoes, (but not extensively raised, because not used 
by natives,) turnips, ghooians, soa, methee, chaulaee, pa- 
lak, marsa, cucumbers of two kind&fkheera and kakreej 
tooroees, laukees, ( both long things like cucumbers) 

I 48 ] 

gourds, and some others. Also garlic, onions, ginger, 
coriander seed, mint, turmerick, cayenne pepper, and 
some other things used in the dressing of dishes. 

Among vegetables, the common potatoe is even in 
India the " queen of vegetables." When it was first in- 
troduced in the country the Hindoos would not eat it 
for fear they should lose their caste ; but after some 
time they got over this prejudice, and now it is even 
with them the best of vegetables. It is raised more 
in some parts than in others ; and there are some 
places where it cannot be raised at all. It is sometimes 
so plentiful in certain parts that it sells four annas per 
maund, a large heap for a few small copper pieces. 
Our potatoes are not so mealy as those of England 
and America. Turnips and onions are not eaten by- 
orthodox Hindoos ; no one can, however, say, why. 
This custom is one of those numerous ones for which 
they can give no reason. There are many practices 
Among the Hindoos, regarding which, one generation 
blindly follows another without ever enquiring into 
their origin or reason. Their usual reply about such 
practices is, "this has been the reet, (custom) of our 
forefathers, and we must do it." Kayasths, however, 
who on account of their Persian education imbibe a 
good many mohomedan notions eat both turnips and 

The following are some of our fruits ; — mangoes, 
oranges, pumloes, sweet and sour lemons of different 
sorts, grapes and apples, ( though neither plentifully 
raised ) guavas, plantains, musk melons, water melons, 
tamarinds, the jack fruit ( kothal, ) bels, water fruit 
( singhara, ) lukats, plums, pomegranates, peaches, 
figs, custard apples, and a good many others. 

We have various sorts of flowers also in the country, 

t *9 3 

for many of which there are no names in English. 
A good many are of the most delicious fragrance, 
and some of them are used to make excellent sweet 
scented oils. The most common of them are the rose, 
( of different kinds,) the champd ( Michelia champaca,) 
the chambelee ( Jasminum grandiflorum ) the chdndnee, 
( literally moonlight, ) the JUkee, ( a species of the 
Jasminum grandiflorum, ) the joohee, ( Jasminum 
auriculatum, ) the Jdfree, ( Linum trigynum, ) the 
Mogrd, (Jasminum zambac,) the motia the held, ( both, 
species of the preceding, ) the madar, the bdn, the 
mautstree, ( mimusops elcngi, ) the karnd, the kapoor, 
the lotus, the keord, ( Pandanus odoratissimus, ) the 
kitkee ( a species of the former, ) the gorhcd, ( Hibiseus 
Syriacus, ) the harsinghdr, the niwaree ( a sort of 
Jasmine, ) the kathbeld, ( Jasminum multiflorum) the 
rde bel, the dopahrid, ( the pentapetes phoenicia ) the 
gendd, ( marigold, ) the sookhdarsan, the sunjloiver, 
and a great many others. 

Besides the grains, vegetables, fruits, and flowers 
mentioned above, they, also raise some colouring stuffs, 
as indigo, koosum, <fcc ; a great deal of tobacco and opi- 
urn ; and different sorts of seeds out of which they 
make oil ; and a hundred other things, which we need 
not enumerate. 



Carpenters — Blacksmiths — Silver and Goldsmiths — Barbers- 
Cowherds — Shepherds — Fishermen — Oilmen — Fullers— Potters 
— Weavers — Shoemakers. 

Carpenters. — There are certain castes about which 
nothing particular is. to be said, and that of carpenters 


[ 50 ] 

is one. It has all sorts of skilful men in it. These 
mechanics generally work sitting. Their principal in- 
struments are the saw, the axe, ( which they use with 
one hand, ) the chisel, the plane, the gimlet or borer, 
(turned with a string,) a pair of compasses, and 
the ruler, consisting of a long blackened string which 
leaves a mark on timber when lengthened, tightened, 
and struck on it. The lowest daily wages of a carpenter 
are two annas, and the highest four annas. 

Blacksmiths. — This caste also has a good number of 
skilful men in it, who can make almost anything re- 
quired of them. Their chief implements are the anvil, 
a pair of tongs, a pair of bellows, the file, and the 
hammer. They are seldom paid by the day or the 
month, but are remunerated according to the work they, 
perform. Their daily or monthly income is about the 
same as that of carpenters ; the lowest about four 
rupees and the highest about eight a month. They 
work with charcoal, and their clothes as well as their 
persons are always blackish ; the reason of which is 
found in the nature of their calling. 

Gold and Silversmiths. — They are engaged in mak- 
ing jewels, and vessels, and other things of silver 
and gold. They have to be narrowly watched when 
engaged by people to make things for them, else 
they would mix baser metal with the silver or gold. 
They can make jewels of any kind required, and some 
of the pieces of their workmanship are of such a fine 
and delicate texture that they cannot' be imitated by 
their brethern in Europe. The generality of them 
can earn about eight or ten rupees a month. 

Barbers. — The people of this caste have two princi- 
pal duties to perform. These are sliaving, and going 

t 51 1 

on errands about weddings, Jpirths, and deaths, and 
helping in some other ways about all . the last three. 
With regard to shaving, barbers attend certain families 
and shave the males of it twice or thrice a fortnight. 
As a remuneration for this service they usually get 
some grain at the harvest time, and also trifling sums 
of money and pieces of raiment at weddings in the 
family, and at the time of some principal festivals also. 
People of this caste are actually servants. Besides 
waiting on families, they also go about the streets in 
quest of people desirous of being shaved. They do 
not call out for them, but are themselves easily known 
by a bag that they keep on their right shoulder. The 
instruments that they keep in these bags are two or 
three razors, a pair of scissors, a small iron instrument 
to cut nails, a piece of leather and a small soft stone, 
both to sharpen razors, a little brass cup to hold water, 
a small and generally indifferent looking glass, and a 
dirty towel to receive the parings of nails and the hair 
removed from the person shaved. When a stranger 
desires to be shaved both sit down on one side of the 
street, or under a tree, or in the verandah of a house. 
The person to be shaved usually sits cross-legged, and 
the barber on his hips. After they are thus seat- 
ed, the latter spreads his towel in the lap of the for- 
mer. When this is done, the barber with three or 
four of his fingers of the right hand begins to wet and 
rub that part which is to be Bhaved ; and after ^the 
part is sufficiently soft, he begins to shave it. The 
majority of the Hindoos merely keep a cue on the top 
of the head and shave all its other parts ; some of 
them mear mustacheos and also short beards turned 
up. All of them wear whiskers, which are shaved 
off once when an adult of their connection dies. Shav- 
ing off whiskers k a sign of mourning, and is the same 
as the putting on of black among Europeans. People 

{ 52 ] 

whp are shaved by barbers not engaged by them per- 
manently pay them imml&iately in cash. The poorest 
classes pay half a pice ; those in better circumstances 
one ; and some of the wealthiest two pice for one 
shaving. If the person shaved be wealthy or in toler- 
ably easy circumstances, the barber, after finish- 
ing the shaving operation, shampoos ( or presses ) his 
arms, hands and shoulders. This is considered a part 
of his duty and meant to make the body of the person 
lighter or give him some relief from fatigue. When 
barbers wait on respectable Hindoos on especial occa- 
sions with the expectation of getting something, they 
always present them their looking glasses, which are re- 
turned at the time. 

Barbers also assist in finding out suitable boys and, 
girls for matches. When a person wishes to have his 
girl married and hears of a child that is likely to be a, 
suitable partner for his own,. he either sends his family 
barber alone, or accompanies him. The barber, with 
the parent of the girl, if he be with him, learns of 
the opposite party the name of the child and the star 
under which it was born, sees its face and figure, whe- 
ther handsome or otherwise, and brings back word to 
those who sent him. Priests also come in here. All 
the rites and ceremonies that are practised on this oc- 
casion will be treated of in one of the following chap- 
ters. Barbers make on an average five or six rupees a 

Aheers or Cowherds. — These people keep cows and 
buffaloes, and some of them in pretty large droves. 
Besides their own cattle, they feed those of others al- 
so. They generally bring their droves about 7. .a. m. 
outside of the town or village, and wait there one or 
two hours for other cows to be brought out. When all. 

[ 53 ] 

of them have joined the herd, they are taken out to 
some pasture which may, sometimes, be two or three 
miles from the village ; these pasture are out in the 
jungle and are not enclosed. When the herd has 
grazed for two or three hours, it is taken to some tank 
for water. After this it rests in a grove or under the 
shade of some trees for some time, in the hot season 
longer than in the cold. In the afternoon, the cattle 
are again taken to the pasture, where they are kept 
till about sunset. Very often in the rainy season, 
whole droves of buffaloes, which may almost be called 
amphibious, are kept out in the pasture whole nights 
grazing. Cowherds in the hot season when they go 
out to a distance from the village take out gobletfuls 
of water with them. These goblets have a narrow 
neck and two short handles with holes, through 
which they pass a string, and hang the goblet behind 
them. When they do not take a repast before set- 
ting out, they also take some bread and sometimes 
parched corn with them. 

As a remuneration for feeding cows of other people 
they get portions of grain three or four times during 
the year. For a single cow a man may get about 
twenty seers in a year.- These people also sell milk and 
are most dishonest in this business, as they mix plenty 
of water with it. One seer of their milk must have at 
least one third of water. It is a common saying, 
that a gwald or cowherd would never give pure milk 
even to his father, — they are so dishonest. They ge- 
nerally sell their milk at twenty seers per rupee ; in 
some places where there is a great demand for it 
they give only sixteen. When they have more milk 
than they can use or sell off they make butter of it 
and sell it to advantage. Ghee or clarified butter in 
general sells from two to three seers per rupee. People 

E B 

of this caste are daring and notorious thieves and rob- 
bers. Imprisonment and making roads, (the way 
prisoners are usually punished) they think a very 
trifling matter and a good many of them make thiev- 
ing and robbery their profession. 

Shepherds. — These people keep sheep and goats. 
Part of their subsistence is derived from feeding the 
goats of others, in return for which they get some 
grain. They use the milk of their goats themselves. 
They also sell milk goats to others, and young he goats 
too, for sacrifice. Shepherds also sell the wool which 
comes off their sheep ; almost the whole of this wool 
is used in the manufacture of blankets. In the cold 
season shepherds confine their flocks in small houses, 
but in the hot keep them in open enclosures, and 
sometimes also out in the fields, — they and their dogs 
guarding them from wolves,, if there be any about the 
country. Compared with the Aheers or cowherds, the 
shepherds are a mild and inoffensive class. 

Kahdrs. — It is the calling of the members of this 
caste to catch and sell fish, make baskets, carry litters, 
supply wealthy families with water, and work as boat- 
men. There are some people who for the sake of 
amusement catch fish with lines, rods, and hooks ; but 
the kahare always catch them with nets. They are 
engaged to carry palanquins by- wealthy natives who 
keep these conveyances, and also by Europeans when 
they travel to or from those places that are not on 
the Grand Trunk Road, where there are horse posts. 
Litters, with curtains all around, are used for the 
conveyance of respectable women from one place to 
another. When kahara have to carry things, they do 
so on an elastic bamboo pole, which rests on one of 
their shoulders. This pole is made by splitting a thick 

[ «« ] 

bamboo iato two ; thus being fiat it rests on the 
shoulder without galling it, which a round bamboo 
with weights suspended to its ends would do. There 
is a pad between the pole and the shoulder. Kahrfrs 
are so habituated to this pole that people, with them- 
selves, believe, they walk faster with it than without it. 
A kahar, without a loaded pole would appear to be like 
a ship without cargo or ballast. It is said, that once 
some kahars of the Emperor Akbar fled from his ser- 
vice. The Emperor, on hearing this, asked his atten- 
dants whether they had taken any thing with them ; it 
was answered in the negative ; " then," said he " they 
could not have proceeded far, we shall catch them." 
By this we do not, however, mean, that, kahars cannot 
walk fast or steady without a load. 

Kahars draw water for respectable Hindoo families. 
For this they are provided with large brass pitch- 
ers, which also they carry suspended to their pole. 
Their women too are engaged by wealthy people of the 
higher castes to scour their brass pots, dishes and jugs, 
and also to wash their kitchens and places where they 
eat ( chouka basan ) and occasionally to wash every 
part of their houses ; they grind grain also for people. 
Kahars are employed by Europeans also to take care 
of their furniture and to help them in washing, dress- 
ing and undressing. Besides grain, pieces of raiment, 
and small sums of money, they also get victuals now 
and then from the native higher families they serve. 
Those engaged by Europeans are paid from four to 
seven rupees a month. Natives, who keep them to 
Garry palanquins and attend to some other things, 
give them, including certain perquisites, only about 
three rupees per month. 

Kahars also work as boatmen. They have boats of 

[ 56 ] 

different sizes, : — some of them carrying a cargo of 
more than nine hundred maunds. They keep one or 
two small coarse sails. When they have no wind to 
help them they use their oars going down a river, and 
their ropes tied to the top of the mast in going up. 
The boat it pulled up against the current with these 
ropes by men walking on the shore and exerting them- 
selves to the utmost. Going up a river is a most 
troublesome and tedious way of proceeding ; the 
progress is very slow, and even that slow progress 
is frequently interrupted by boats moored on the 
banks, as the ropes with which the boat is pulled 
up have to be thrown above the mast of the vessel 
moored, and some of their brethern are not in a hurry 
to run up the mast and help their progress. Eight 
or ten men are required to manage a large boat. These 
boats are all used for merchandise, and not by travel- 
lers, — we mean native ones. Europeans use them now 
and then for this purpose. 

Tailees or Oilmen. — These men make oil of all sorts 
from some small seeds plentifully raised in the country. 
Their oil press is turned round by a bullock, which 
is blindfolded to prevent his turning giddy. A man, 
woman, or boy sits on a part of the press and keeps 
the bullock going. 

A great deal of Castor oil is made ; but it is in an 
unclarified state, and the whole of it is used for burn- 
ing, and softening leather and also new shoes by the 
poorer classes. Karwa or sharp oil is made out of a 
kind of mustard and is in universal use throughout 
the country ; in fact, more of this oil is consumed 
than of any other. It is used to burn lamps by all 
whether high or low, rich or poor ; and also to dress 
dishes by the majority of the population. It is also 

• [ 57 J 

used by the wealthiest in the preparation of some of 
their dishes, such as the frying of fish, and so forth. 
Meetha or sweet oil is also used for dishes ; it is made 
of a seed called till, ( the seed of the Sesamum orien- 
tate. ) The coarse stuff that is left after the oil has 
been extracted is called khal. The cake or khal of the 
castor seed is good for nothing and is thrown away. 
That of the sarson or mustard is universally used for 
feeding cows, bullocks, and buffaloes. That of the 
till is consumed by the power classes themselves. 
They find it particularly palatable when eaten with 
dry and hard molasses. There is a common sweet- 
meat made of molasses and till, called till ke laddoo, 
or balls of till. The karwa or sharp oil that is in 
common use sells from four to eight seers per rupee. 
The sweet oil is a little dearer, and the caster oil much 
cheaper. Besides these there are one or two other 
oils of a common kind extracted from some other seeds. 
Sweet scented oil of different kinds is made by keep- 
ing till and sweet smelling flowers mixed together in 
layers one on top of another for sometime before the 
till is thrown into the press. 

Dhobee8 or Fullers. — This is one of the lowest and 
pretty unclean classes of men among the Hindoos. 
Each Dhobee has a certain number of families for 
whom he washes. When Dhobees have collected all 
the sorted clothes that they have to wash, they put 
them in an earthen tub, wet them in a kind of miner- 
al alkali, goat's dung, and common soap made in the 
country. After the clothes are well saturated in this 
mixture they are put in a large brass pot over a gentle 
fire for sometime. In the morning they put all these 
clothes on two or three asses or a bullock kept for this 
purpose, and go to a river, if one be near, or to a pond . 
for the day. They almost always have a pond about 

t 58 ] 

the town or village. At the river or pond they have 
boards about three or four feet long, and one and a 
half wide with groves across them. These boards are 
placed in the water just at the bank or edge of the 
river or pond in the form of an inclined plane, one of 
its ends being supported by a piece of stick about one 
foot and a half long, and the other resting on the 
ground in the water. The man or woman ( for women 
also wash ) stands in the water at the raised end of 
the board ( which is turned towards the body of the 
water and not towards the bank ) and having taken 
ten or twelve pieces together, and made them of a length 
equal to the board, strikes them on the board. This 
he or she does for some minutes, occasionally rinsing 
the pieces in the water in which he or she is standing, 
and sometimes holding the pieces by one end and 
sometimes by the other. This operation is acknow- 
ledged by some European Authors to be more cleans- 
ing than that in vogue in their own country. When 
the pieces are quite clean, the fuller squeezes the water 
out and throws them on a* piece of cloth spread there 
on purpose, to be afterward hung on a string and dried. 
These people stand in the water almost to their knees 
for hours, and get so habituated to this practice that it 
does not affect their health in the least degree. While 
beating the dirty clothes on the board they are con- 
stantly singing some short songs, which, together with 
the manner of singing them, is confined to. this caste, 
and that too while they are at this work ; this is meant 
to beguile them while they are at this labour. Some- 
times when they do not sing, they make a certain pe- 
culiar noise with their mouth, such as chheo chheo, 
rdmd rdmd which is intended to give vent to the effect 
of the straining of their nerves in this exertion, and 
also to keep off their thoughts from the work ; it would 
appear they could not work unless they were to sing 

[ «» ] 


of make this noise. While the men are at this work 
at the ghaut, ( the place where they wash ) one or two 
women of their families are at home to attend to 
household work and to prepare breakfast for them. 
This meal is brought to them about noon. When 
they have washed and dried all their clothes by sunset, 
they again put them on their asses or bullocks and 
return home. When the clothes are dry, those of the 
better classes are ironed. Clothes belonging to the poor 
and made of coarser stuffs are not ironed, but simply 
folded up and beaten with a wooden hammer, ( koon- 
dee ) which makes them somewhat soft and smooth. 
With regard to wages, they are paid by the higher and 
wealthier classes by the month, the pay ranging from 
four annas to five or six rupees. She poorer classes 
remunerate them according to the number of pieces 
washed, which is sometimes half a pice and at others 
one pice per piece. Sometimes, especially during 
weddings and festivals, dhobees hire out people's good 
clothes to others ; this is of course unknown to the 
owners ; for this they get a trifle. They and their 
women also wear clothes that are given them to be 
washed. This is one of the most vulgar classes and 
people belonging to it use a great deal of liquor when 
they have time to spare, particularly at weddings and 
when they have panchdyat or an arbitration to decide 
some case of somebody belonging to their caste. At 
such times liquor is always provided by the party in 
fault and is meant as a sort of fine ; though this fine 
does not prevent the offender's being punished in 
some other way, such as a heavier fine, thrashing, 
excommunication, &c, when his offence is of a serious 

Koomhdrs or Potters. — -These people make, as their 
name imports, all sorts of earthen pots, dishes, pitch- 

t 60 ] 

ers, and a hundred other things. They collect into 
a vast heap ( awa ) all kinds of dry dung of certain 
quadrupeds, and other things that can be burned, bury 
their earthenware in it and then set fire to it. In the 
course of a few days their earthen things are perfectly 
baked, removed from the heap and sold. About all 
large towns, cities, and villages, there are one or two 
vast piles of ashes, resembling hillocks, which are 
the successive accumulations of the dung and other 
rubbish burnt there for a great number of years. This 
is one of the poorest classes, and gets along with a 
bare subsistence. Their earthen ware is sold from one 
fourth of a pice to two or three annas apiece. While 
these pots, pitchers, and other things that potters make 
are with them just fresh as they were brought out 
from the heap, they are considered undefiled ; but 
when the least drop of water falls on them, they are 
immediately polluted, and cannot be used by any 
other person or family but that from whose member 
the drop of water has fallen. 

Korees or Weavers. — These people with a few simple 
implements make diiFerent sorts of stuffs, fine as well 
as coarse ; they are very durable and of various sorts, 
and are used all over the country. This too is one of 
the lowest, poorest, and most despised classes. 

Clvamdrs, or shoemakers, cobblers, and all those who 
deal in leather and leather things. — This caste is 
in every respect below that of the weavers. People 
of this caste make and mend every thing that is 
made of leather. Leather is considered unclean by 
Hindoos, and therefore these people are consider- 
ed unclean too. But the worst feature about them, 
and that which makes them more degraded and des- 
pised is, that, they eat the flesh of those domestic 

I 61 ] 

animals that die a natural death. When a cow, bul- 
lock, -or buffaloe dies, these chamars are called. They 
drag or carry away the carcass to their own part of the 
village or town, cut it up in pieces and distribute the 
flesh among themselves in sufficient portions ; and 
clean the hide and put it away for sale or to be manu- 
factured into something. The flesh of these carcass- 
es iB of course quite different from fresh meat, and 
the yellow turmerick, which all natives use in dressing 
their curries or stews has no effect upon it, that is, it 
does not colour it. 



Sweepers — Other Castes — Bescription of a Bazaar or Market. 

Sweepers. — This is the lowest class and so unclean 
that people belonging to it must always keep them- 
selves at a distance from others, particularly from 
those of the higher classes. On these Bhangees or 
Sweepers devolves all sorts of dirty work. In cities 
and large towns they are engaged to sweep public 
streets and markets and to remove all filth from these 
places and private houses. In private houses, how- 
ever, they are not allowed to go inside ; but the part 
that they attend to is separate from the place where 
the family dwells ; they merely pass through the yard. 
The wages that they receive from, families whom they 
attend is a few pice per month with victuals once or 
twice a week. All the filth which these people can 
collect they keep in heaps, and at the time of sowing 
flelds sell it as manure. They carry this manure on 


t 62 ] 

bullocks, and are paid according to the number of 
loads that they put in the fields. A successful sweep- 
ers' wages in this particular line may amount to about 
four rupees per month. 

Out in the country, members of this class are not 
allowed to go into houses at all, unless absolutely re- 
quired by sickness in a family. There, families have 
very seldom private chambers, but men and women 
all go out to attend to the calls of nature ; the latter 
generally early in the morning and at night, unless 
there be high and extensive thickets, forests, and fields 
about a village to help them during the day. In the 
country, sweepers are not allowed even to sweep the 
yards of dwelling houses ; but the women of the fa- 
mily sweep it themselves, and those who are too wealthy 
to do so, hire women of other castes to do this for 
them. In these circumstances they can make almost 
nothing by sweeping streets and attending families ; 
but are supported in other ways, which are acting as 
watchmen for villages during the night, keeping swine, 
and supplying fields with manure. 

They are engaged as watchmen for villages by land- 
holders by order of Government, and also by wealthy 
individuals for themselves. When a theft or robbery 
takes place in a village and the thieves are not caught 
these public watchmen are apprehended by the Police 
in the first instance and afterwards the Zamindars or 
landholders also if the robbery be a serious one. In 
lieu of this labour they get three rupees a month and 
sometimes a small piece of land from Zamindars to 
cultivate for themselves ; and now and then some grain 
from the cultivators at the time of harvest. They 
also make something by supplying -fields with 

[ 63 ] 

They keep pigs too, the flesh of which they eat 
themselves, and also supply others with it. Though 
the pig is considered a very unclean animal, so much 
so, that a mere touch of the beast would oblige a per- 
son to bathe all his body and throw away all his earth- 
en vessels, ( that is, if the pig have come in contact 
with them ) yet it is eaten by almost all castes of 
people. The lowest classes eat it publicly and the 
middle and some of the higher ones do so clandestine- 
ly. Wild hogs are allowed to be eaten by all except 
the priests, and the chhatries or soldiers sometimes 
drive a stray domestic pig into a field or forest and 
there kill it under pretence of its being wild. No one, 
however, of the middle or higher classes would ac- 
knowledge that he eats the flesh of a pig. Mohomedans 
have a great dislike to hogs but we speak only of 
Hindoos. Young pigs are frequently offered in sacri- 
fice to certain gods and godesses. Mortals pretend to 
have an aversion to pigs, but gods are said to be pleas- 
ed with them ; this is one of the innumerable Hin- 
doo inconsistencies. It is a great mercy, however, that 
we have this animal in the country, and that in large 
droves too. The manners and customs of the people 
make them go out for their calls, and were it not for 
this animal, people would suffer most dreadfully from 
the corruption of the air that would take place. 

As beauty is not confined to any particular class of 
mankind, some of the women of this caste are very 
beautiful, especially among those who live in cities 
and do not undergo hard labour and are not exposed 
to the sun, which in a country life cannot be always 
avoided. * In cities the population is mixed ; there 
are all sorts of people, and a great many of them are 
Mohomedans. These latter are the most licentious race 

* It is a fact; that there are more beautiful women in this 

[ «* ] 

in the world ; which is a consequence of their reli- 
gion. They often fall in love with women of this 
caste ; and sometimes the beauty of a woman is so 
great and the love of a Mohomedan to her so ardent 
that he cannot live without her. If the latter be a 
woman of a loose character, she elopes with him or 
complies otherwise with his wishes ; but if she be 
chaste and at the same time a widow or an unmarried 
girl, she and her friends propose to the enamoured 
Mohomedan to turn a sweeper and marry her. Love 
has such a complete mastery over him, that he con- 
sents, becomes a sweeper, and gains the object of his- 
desires and affections. * He remains a bkangee to the 
day of his death, and other sweepers exult on account 
of this conquest over him. After the man becomes a 
sweeper, he is of course turned out from the society of 
his relations and friends ; but if he has means to 
support himself, he is not obliged to do any filthy 
work. Love cases, however, that end tkm are not 
very common. There is a class of men very much like 
these who also keep andieed swine and act as watch- 
men, but do not sweep or carry manure nor do any 
dirty work. They are called Dhdnook*. 

Besides the castes that we have mentioned in the 
preceeding pages there are some others of which we 
need not particularly speak. There are the Jdts (a 

class of merchants ; ) Dhoniyas, or cleaners of cotton ta 
be spun and to stuff quilts with in the cold season ; 
Tamolees, or sellers of the betel leaf; Patwds^ or ma- 
kers of coloured strings ; Jogees and Gosaeens, or various 

lowest caste than in any of the middle and lower classes. How 
this is, we cannot explain. 

* The ceremony by which such a stranger is received into- 
heir caste is a peculiar one. The lover is seated under a bed- 

i • 

[ 65 1 

sects of Faqueers ; Darvees, or tailors ; BhdU or bards ; 
Sddhs, a religious sect, who worship no idols, nor bow 
before men, (something like the Quakers of Europe and 
America ;) Bahailiyds, or fowlers ; Kanjars a class who 
make ropes and some other things, and eat the flesh 
of horses and some other animals not commonly 
eaten ; and a few others which we need not even name. 

All these castes that we have mentioned from the 
Brahmins to the Sweepers have numerous subdivi- 
sions, and people of the same general caste will not 
eat and intermarry with each other. This endleBS 
division and sub-division into castes in India is one of 
the greatest absurdities found on the surface of the 

With regard to the trades and professions of the 
different Hindoo castes certain changes have taken 
place ; for instance, priests, farmers, cowherds, and 
people of some other castes also act now as soldiers ; 
farmers, cowherds, and members of one or two other 
classes as confectioners, masons, <fcc ; and the various 
ways by which hundreds of priests, soldiers and Vyshes 
maintain themselves have been spoken of before. 
Circumstances have obliged them to adopt these cours- 
es and these practices, and no fault is found with 

As there are some trades and callings which could 
not have been conveniently mentioned in the proceed- 
ing pages we will briefly notice what sort of shops *we 
have in our cities. Taking a walk through the prin- 

stead ; and the beauty who has won his affections and other 
sweepers bathe on £he bedstead and let the water run down on 
him. This is meant to degrade the man and bring him on a 
level with themselves. 

F p 

[ 66 ] 

cipal street of Furrakhabad, which is a pretty ancient 
and large city, with a population of about a hundred 
thousand souls, we saw shops of the following kinds, 
there being some scores of each sort. 

Baniy&s. These paople sell all sorts of eatables in a 
dry and^ unprepared form, and have been spoken of 

Sarrdfs or money changers. They give pice and 
also small silver pieces for rupees. 

Sellers of Millstones. Millstones are brought from 
certain parts of the country where stones abound. A 
ready made millstone can be had for about a rupee 
and a half. 

Indigo and Saltpetre. The former extensively rais- 
ed in India and exported to foreign countries. There 
are many European indigo-planters also in the country 
who make its traffic their principal business through 
life and clear thousands of pounds by it. They are, 
called Planters though they are not so in reality. They 
only purchase the article from native cultivators and 
merchants. The seed of the Indigo too is an article 
of extensive commerce. Saltpetre is also made in 
various parts of the country ; and thousands of poor 
people make their living, and hundreds of merchants, 
both native and European, their fortunes by it. 

Bhoosd and dried water fruit. Shops in this coun- 
try are laid out in the greatest confusion and these 
formed the next articles that came to view. Bhoosa 
is the stalks and husks of most grains bruised to small 
pieces. It is extensively sold for cows, bullocks, and 
buffaloes. Singharri, or the water fruit, is a fruit that 

[ 67 ] 

is produced in tanks ; it is eaten raw as well as boiled 
after its thick green coat is removed. It is also kept 
in a dried state by Baniyds ; a great deal of it is con- 
sumed by Hindoos ; there are certain times in the 
year when they pretend to fast ; on such days they 
eat nothing that is made of any grain, but get the 
meal of this sweet fruit, boil it in milk with a little 
sugar, and eat that. Here were also some sticks of 
bamboos exposed for sale. 

Tdt pattee. This is a very coarse canvass, and large 
bags are made of it to hold saltpetre, indigo, salt, 
grain, and a hundred other things. One or two men 
were engaged in sewing these bags. 

Ready made smoking tobacco <&c. <kc. Such shops 
are mostly kept by Mohomedans. Hindoos and Moho- 
medans are mixed up in their trades and callings in 
cities ; but the number of the former predominates, 
being about twenty times more than that of the latter. 
Tobacco is raised by farmers, and after it is carefully 
dried is sold to tobacconists who pound and bruise 
it with thin molasses. It is exposed for sale in pretty 
large lumps ; as the unprepared tobacco and molasses 
are both plentiful, the smoking tobacco is cheap and 
is used by the whole population of this vast country, 
excepting a few Brahmins. In the same shop were 
seen for sale hookas, che.elums, and naichas (things to 
smoke with), earthen dishes, fuel, and some other tri- 
fling things. 

Plums and Sugar canes. There are different kinds 
of both sold in the cold season and are universally 
used by people. These are also eaten by Hindoos on 
their fast days. Plums are raised in gardens and are 
also found wild in forests ; but the latter are of an 

[ 68 ] ■ 

inferior quality. The sugar cane is plentifully raised 
in the country and the juice or molasses after being 
extracted from the stalk in the press is made into 
sugar and sugar candy ; — both being of various quali- 
ties, from the coarsest to the finest. 

As we were taking this walk, we passed through 
the principal serai* of the city as the main street 
runs through it. It is almost square and has little 
rooms all around. When we saw it, it was full of all 
sorts of native vehicles, bullocks, and one or two el- 
ephants. As we passed along we saw a shop where 
ropes were sold ; next came a goldsmith's place ; after 
which the following. 

Tamolees, or sellers of the betel leaf. This leaf, 
called pdn, is in general use in cities among the higher 
classes both of Hindoos and Mohomedans. The use of 
it is considered a sign of luxury and affluence or at least 
of competence, and those who are in the habit of 
chewing think it so necessary to their comfort that 
they would feel miserable without it. It is chewed 
with a particle of lime, some bruised betel • nut 
( Areca Catechu ), and a little katthd ( Cajechu, Terra 
Japonica ). The wealthier classes use one or two aro- 
matics with it, such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, 
&c. The lime and the kattha give the mouth and the 
« lips a red colour, which they think improves their 
beauty. Some people put a little dry tobacco with 
their pdn and think it is a good checfc to dyspepsia. 

ffalivdees. A great many shops of these people are 
found in every city. 'They Bell various sorts of eatables, 
fresh and ready for use. They have been spoken of before. 

The place where travellers put up. 


[ 69 I 

Kalaigart or those who tin copper vessels. Copper 
vessels are used only by Mohomedans, and these people 
also are professors of the same religion. They charge 
abont three pice for a pretty large vessel ; and the 
coat that they put on a vessel lasts in ordinary cook- 
ing for a month or twenty days. 

Butchers. There are two classes of them ; one Hin- 
doo, and the other Mohomedan. The former kill only 
sheep and goats ; the cow is considered sacred by 
them. The latter mostly kill cows, and this beef is 
sold to Mohomedans, who eat also mutton and goat's 
flesh. Mutton and goat's flesh are eaten by Hindoos, 
excepting a few Brahmins, Baniyas, and some others 
of the other classes who bind themselves with a vow 
never to tastes flesh ; these are called Bhakts> which 
literally means Saints, but is now in common language 
understood to mean an abstainer Jrom flesh. Such a 
man is considered as possessed of an eminent degree 
of piety. Compared with Mohomedans, Hindoos use 
animal food very sparingly. 

Tailors. These are both Hindoos and Mohomedans. 
They are very dishonest, and when a garment is cut 
out of a new piece they are sure to take a good deal 
more than is required, unless the man who wants their 
services knows all about cutting of clothes. Tailors 
make from four to ten rupees a month. 

Wholesale dealers in ghee or clarified butter. This is 
a lucrative trade. People buy jap ghee when it is 
cheap, that is, somewhat more than six pounds per rupee 
and sell it high when it gets comparatively scarce or about 
four pounds for a rupee. A great deal of it is consumed. 


Dyers. The trade of dying is now exclusively followed 

t ?0 J 

by Mohomedans. They dye pieces of every variety 
of. colour seen in any part of the world. Their ser- 
vices are ahvuvs in demand as Hindoo women 
almost always use dyed raiment, and linen is also dyed 
for a hundred other purposes. There is a class of 
men also ( these too Mohomedans ) who paint palan- 
quins, doors of houses, carriages &c., in all possible 
variety of colours and shades ; and they do this with 
such neatness and beauty as not to be surpassed by 
any set of men of their calling in the world. 

Gdnjd Sellers. The Gdnjd is a preparation of the 
hemp plant, ( Cannabis Sativa ), and is smoked for in- 
toxication. The dried leaves are powdered and taken 
with water for the same purpose. Any and every body 
is not allowed to sell this intoxicating drug, but only 
a few persons in the country who obtain a monopoly 
from Government and pay high too for it. There must 
not be in the same place more than one dealer in this 
thing. People of all castes can use the gdnjd, that is, 
they are not excommunicated for doing so ; but those 
who indulge in it have generally a bad character among 
their more respectable friends and neighbours. 

Pedlar's shops. These people are Mohomedans and 
sell a hundred little things, such as looking glasses, 
little drums, different sorts of toys, legs of bedsteads, 
combs, little brass cups, and so forth. 

Bakers. These too are Mohomedans, and are of use 
on^v to people of their own religion. They sell leav- 
ened cakes and meat prepared in two or three 
ways. The curry or stew that they sell is merely no- 
minal and is only intended to deceive their customers. 
In a cooking vessel full of water, they put a few small 
pieces of meat, tome salt, a good many chillies, which 

t n ] 

give it a sharp taste, and a little ground turmerick 
( very common in the country and quite cheap ) which 
gives the water a deep yellow, and as far as the sight 
is concerned makes the whole pass for a good dish. 
They charge about two or three pice for a meal of 
leavened cakes and this stew. In times of weddings 
and on some other occasions they are called by Moho- 
medans, to dress dishes, which amount to a great ma- 
ny, and all as rich and costly as one would like them 
to be. 

Milkmen.. These men are of that class which keeps 
cows ; they have their shops among those of the Hal- 
waees or sellers of ready made eatables. These milk- 
men sell milk prepared for use in different ways (khod y 
rabree&c;) they also deal in dahee or curdled milk, 
which is very sour and is always eaten with sugar. It 
is of a cooling nature, and a great deal of it is sold in 
the hot season about four pice per seer. 

Besides these there were seen dealers in sticks and 
staves ; cotton ; shoes ; kites ; woollen stuffs ; cotton 
thread ; every variety of iron articles such as cages for 
p Jirrots, chairs, buckets, axle-trees, frying pans, curry- 
combs, axes, large iron rings for leather bags to draw 
up water, &c ; laced caps of different sorts of linen ; 
hookas ( things to smoke with ) ; dyeing materials ; 
various sorts of coloured strings; large and small 
boxes ; ropes ; perfumes ; tape ; carpets ; brass and 
copper plates, jugs, and pots of all sorts and sizes ; 
ginger and other curry ingredients ; tamarinds ; beads ; 
hemp ; earthen pots ; fire works ; musical instru- 
ments ; wooden boards to write on ; large earthen 
tubs ; pickles ; saddles and bridles ; phials of ail sizes ; 
spices ; mustard ; vegetables ; toddy, (the juice of the 
palm tree ) ; grass for horses, <fcc ; and green plants 

I 72 ] • 

of the chana, the peculiar pulse spoken of before. 
There was a shop also where unwrought cotton was ex- 
changed for cotton thread, the latter being spun and 
brought there by women. Besides these there were 
shops of turners, makers of torches or flambeaus, 
manufactures of glass and lac rings for women to wear 
on their wrists ; menders of shawls ; goldsmiths who 
make all sorts of jewels and gold things, sellers of 
gold and silver, and gold laces, and merchants of cloth. 
Some of these last are wholesale dealers and others 
retailers. Wholesale dealers have in their shops a 
hundred sorts of linen and woollen cloths, chintz, and 
almost every thing of the kind that is to be found in th« 
world. Some of theye merchants can be reckoned with 
the richest men of this country as well as of others. 

Though the habitations of the Hindoos are compar- 
atively rude, and their manners and customs simple, 
yet as their ingenuity has been at work for more than 
three thousand years, they have omitted nothing which 
they have according to their notions, thought condu- 
cive to their comfort or profit. And though they art 
now behind most European nations in civilization, yet 
they were one of those races of mankind that were 
civilized long before the others. If a person has only 
wealth, he can, in the midst of these comparatively 
rude manners and customs enjoy, and that by the in- 
strumentality of natives, all that comfort, which he 
would, in the most civilized country of Europe. Eve- 
ry thing is procurable in the Land, and money can 
here also make its possessors live like monarch s if they 
only like to lay it out for their comfort. 


[ 73 ] 



Sacred Scriptures — Gods— Incarnations— Daily ablutions-*-Hin- 
<loo Worshippers — Mode of pooja* or worship — Hindoo goddesses 
~A peculiar prayer — Counting beads 1 — Spiritual guides — Feeding 
BrahminB — Religion o! the middle and lower Classes — Craftiness 
of Brahmins. 

In one sense all the Hindoos are religious, and in 
another all are not so. All of them practice some 
superstition or other, but all are not religious as is 
required in their Scriptures. 

The Hindoos have a great many religious writings, 

which consist of a great many divisions. They were 
written at different times, comprising a period of 
thousands of years. The most ancient of them are 
supposed to have been written about fourteen hundred 
years before the Christian era. These teach the wor- 
ship of one Supreme Being.* In later times as the 
people sunk into gross idolatry the other books were 

written ; these inculcate the worship of gods, god- 
■ — i . . ■ i ■ - — 

* This point is sometimes disputed. We agree with the follow, 
ing passage of a work on India. " The Upanishads, or devotion- 
al parts of the Vedas, in which alone we discover the primitive 
religion of the Hindoos, undoubtedly inculcate the belief of 
one Supreme God, in whom the universe is comprehended ; but 
already, had they begun to address the Deity by different appel. 
lations, a practice which was, perhaps, among the first causes 
of polytheism. ' The deities invoked appear, on a cursory in- 
spection of the Veda, to be as various as the authors of the 
prayers addressed to them ; but according to the most ancient 
annotations on the Indian Scriptures, those numerous names 
of persons and things are all resolvable into different titles of 
three deities, and ultimately of one God,' " Library of Enter- 
taining knowledge. The Hindoos. Vol. I. p. 144. 


[ 74 J 

images, animals, rivers and almost any thing 
a Hindoo likes. According to their later Scriptures 
the Deity has resolved himself into three forms, called 
Brahma, Vishnoo, and Mahesh. The work of the 
first is, creation ; of the second, preservation, and of 
the third, destruction. A female principle is joined to 
each to shew his active power ; these are called, Saras- 
watee, Lakhsmee, and Pdrvatee or Doorgd. Brahma, the 
first person of this triad, was cursed by a god on ac- 
count of some sin and his worship ceased throughout 
the country long ago. The other persons Vishnoo and 
Mahesh have been guilty of as great sins as it is pos- 
sible for man to commit ; but the Hindoos have not 
the sense to see this or the condour to acknowledge it. 
Hindoo worshippers are divided into two classes ; the 
first, which is the most numerous, consists of the wor- 
shippers of Vishnoo, and the other of the adorers of 
Mahesh or Mahadeo or Shiv, which are his other names. 

They believe, Vishnoo, the second person of the triad, 
became incarnate several times. He became a fish 
to bring out their four Veds or principal Scriptures 
from the Ocean, in which they had been lost ; and a 
tortoise and a boar to support the earth in times of 
deluges ; once, he took the form of a lion to kill a 
man ; several times he came to this earth in human 
form to kill impious Kings and Chhattries ; and the 
object of his advent once was to spread a new religion 
in the world. The last time that he will come will be, 
it is said, to punish all the wicked. Besides these two 
persons of the Hindoo triad, there are thousands of 
other gods and goddesses and other things that they 
worship. There is nothing too mean for a Hindoo to 
adore ; he will worship any thing that excites his fears 
or promises him good. There are millions of things 
in the whole creation that are the objects of his ado- 

t ™ ] 

ration. The sun, the moon, the stars, heroes, moun- 
tains, rivers, trees, images, beasts, mankind, reptiles, 
and a thousand other things are his gods. Even pens 
and inkstands are worshipped at certain times ; the 
reason that they give for this worship is that they 
get knowledge through them. 

Bathing is one of the most necessary and import- 
ant things that a Hindoo has daily to perform. In 
such a hot climate as that of India is, it is absolutely 
necessary for comfort, but the Hindoos have made in 
an indispensable part of religion too. Without puri- 
fication through bathing, the body they think, is fit 
neither for eating nor worshipping. The forenoon is 
the time for ablution. If a river be near, they purify 
themselves there ; but if not, they draw up water from 
wells and bathe themselves on the platforms about 
them ; for this purpose, they keep an iron bucket ( a 
leather one is unclean) and a strong rope. Professors of 
religion among the higher classes at the times of bath- 
ing worship the Sun. They make a hollow with both 
of their hands and offer water in it to this luminary ; 
while offering it water they turn their faces to it and 
address it with prayers. 

Piety of an exalted nature or such as is spoken of 
in the Hindoo Shasturs is required only of the higher 
- castes, that is, of the Brahmins, Chhattries, Vyshes, 
and K.iyasths. Those below these are too low to be 
eminently pious and holy. There are there times du- 
ring the day when a strictly religious Hindoo of these 
higher castes must celebrate worship. One is early in 
the morning ; the other at noon ; and the third at 
sunset. There are very few, however, who observe it 
so strictly; most religious people perform worship 
only twice a day ; once after bathing, which is in the 

[ 76 ] 

forenoon, and then at sunset. There are hymns and 
prayers in Sanscrit which are repeated at times of 
worship ; these are different for the four different 
castes just mentioned. Those who have no worship 
at noon, omit those hymns and prayers which are 
meant for that time of the day. Though Vishnoo and 
Shiv are both considered objects of worship by the 
Hindoos, yet some devote themselves more to the wor- 
ship of one, and some to that of the other. Besides 
these, one or two goddesses also are the objects of con- 
stant adoration. These gods and goddesses have near- 
ly an equal portion of worshippers from among the 
Brahmins ; the Vyshes mostly worship Vishnoo ; the. 
Chhattries generally adore Shiv and the goddess Door- 
ga : and the Kayasths or Writers mostly worship. 
Shiv and the said goddess. 

When a Hindoo addresses himself to perform poojd 
or worship, he sits on a wollen cloth or a mat of coom 
grass or a deer hide ; ( other hides are ceremonially un- 
clean, but that of the deer is not so. ) Before seating 
himself he loosens one of his Rdnches or one of the 
ends of the long piece of cloth or dhotee that he wears 
round his waist ; this is necessary, though no one 
can say why. After seating himself down and before 
commencing pooj a, he puts a knot in his cue (long 
hair on the top of his head ) which has been loosened 
while bathing. As all the pieces of a Hindoo's dress, 
the dhotee excepted, are ceremonially unclean, he takes 
them off and puts them by ; in fact, he has taken them 
off before bathing. Woollen stuffs are not believed to 
attach ceremonial uncleaness, and if it be the cold 
season, Hindoo worshippers cover themselves with a 
blanket. Even the head dress is unclean and that too 
is taken off. These pieces are considered unclean be- 
cause they are washed by fullers with certain things 

t " 3 

which are believed to be unclean. The dhotee, which 
answers for trousers and is kept on at worship and 
meals is not given to fullers, but is washed by the 
people themselves, or when they are too high and 
wealthy to do so, by their servants, who are generally 
of the of kahar caste spoken of before. 

Worship of Vuhnoo, the second person of the Hindoo 
Triad. The image of the god, which is of stone, brass 
silver, or gold, is set on a stand called SingJidsan, 
which is either of brass or silver according to the cir- 
cumstances of the worshipper, but mostly of the for- 
mer. After being set on the stand, it is bathed ; the 
Hindoos bathe every day. and they think it is abso- 
lutely necessary for their gods also to be bathed. 
Then they put chandan on its forehead ; this chandan 
is a sweet smelling wood, and all religious people paint 
their forheads with it (feekdj and most of them their 
arms and chests also ; this is a mark of their devotion. 
After chandan they place before the image a leaf of 
the toolshee. The toohhee is a sacred and- fragrant 
shurb, and is in general use among the Hindoos in 
their poojas. After this they put before the image 
different sorts of sweet smelling flowers; these are 
also considered necessary and for this reason religious 
people of the higher castes generally have one or two 
or more flower beds about their dwellings and about 
temples. Incense is also burned before the idol in 
a little brass cup. Fire is put in this cup and 
incense is thrown on it. This incense is a com- 
pound of chandan just mentioned, of another frag- 
rant wood called dhoop, of clarified butter, cam- 
phor, and one or two other things. After incense 
they light a lamp and move it in a circular way three 
four times before the image ; then present before it 
offerings of sweetmeats, fruits, <fec. These offerings 

G Q 

t 78] 

and the image they screen for a few second to let the 
god eat some of it, as they say. While they move 
the light before the image and make it offerings, they 
sound the sankh, a pretty large shell, and think the 
god is well pleased with the sound ; it is with this 
shell that the image of Vishnoo is bathed. At the 
time of bathing the image and presenting the light 
before it, they also sound a little bell. When they 
burn incense, they repeat hymns and count beads. 
After the pooja is over, the image is removed and put 
away and in a safe place too if it be of silver ; and the 
offerings (called nibed) are eaten by the family. The 
image of Vishnoo is kept and worshipped in temples 
also ; the manner of worshipping it in temples is the 
same as just described. 

Worship of Shiv, MaJiesh or Makddeo. They keep 
images of stone of all sizes for this god. Large ones 
are mostly found in temples and small ones in private 
houses. In temples there are generally two or more 
priests to attend to them and they appropriate to 
themselves the offerings that are made. After bath- 
ing, people visit the temple of Shiv, bring ;with them 
water in their brazen jugs, and pour it over the image, 
which is generally on a wooden stand ; the water that 
is poured on it is received into a kind of hollow and 
is made to run out of the temple through a small 
drain. After pouring the water over it, offerings of 
flowers and other things are made. Temples of Shiv 
have gongs attached to them which are rung after the 
pooja ia over. In the hot season a large earthen vessel 
full of water is placed a few inches over the image on 
a higher stand than that on which it is placed ; this 
earthen vessel has a small hole at the bottom, through 
which water constantly drops over the head of the 

[ 79 ] 

image and keeps it cool ; this is considered necessary 
in the hot season for the comfort of the god. 

Those who keep images of Shiv in their houses 
worship it daily pretty much in the manner just said ; 
they bathe it, paint its forehead with chandan, offer 
it bail pattee (the leaf of a certain tree) and flowers, 
burn incense, move the light before it, make it offer- 
ings of sweetmeats, fruits, Ac, and repeat hymns and 
prfyers before it. In the private worship of this god 
they always sound little bells. The Ling of Shiv, a 
thing too obscene to be mentioned, is universally wor- 
shipped ; it answers the purpose of his image, when 
there is none at hand. It is made on the spot of com- 
mon clay when required, and thrown away after 

The Hindoos say that they do not worship images, 
but gods through them. They, however, treat these 
pieces of stone as if they had sense and feeling ; thus, 
they ask them to smell flowers and eat food ; fan them 
to keep them cool ; in the cold season cover them with 
raiment to keep them warm ; put over them fine cur- 
tains to prevent their being troubled by musquitoes 
and flies : daub them with chandan that they might 
be pleased with their persons ; and lay then down that 
they might repose ; and sometimes think they ere 
unwell and carry them about that they might recover 
by taking fresh air. 

There are many, who devote themselves to the wor- 
ship of some goddess, and others, who worship her 
occasionally. The goddesses mostly worshipped are 
Doorgd and Kdlee. The images of these goddesses are 
not seen uncovered ; but they always have a female dress 
on them. They are not bathed like the images of the 

[ 80 ] 

forementioncd gods ; but a little water is sprinkled on 
their feet and faces and this answers instead of bath- 
ing. All the articles of their dress are the same that 
are worn by Hindoo women. When these images are 
worshipped, incense is burned, a light is moved before 
them, and offerings are made. In private worship 
little bells are sounded ; bu^they have larger ones in 
temples. Some of the adorers of goddesses, who keep 
no images representing them, set a pothee or sacred 
book before themselves and perform all their worship 
before it just as they would before an image. Some- 
times a goddess and her raiment are both carved out 
of a single block of stone ; in this case people do not 
put raiment on them. 

The Hindoo goddesses are blood-thristy demons. 
Kalee is said in one of their sacred writings to be 
pleased for a thousand years by a human sacrifice, and 
a hundred thousand year* if three human beings are 
offered her at once. Male buffaloes are sacrificed to 
Doorga, but she is pleased a thousand times more if 
a human head be offered her. Children are now and 
then in quest, especially by women, to be offered in 
sacrifice, and those belonging to poor people are some- 
times kidnapped in streets and sold to parties desi- 
rous of them. 

There is a peculiar short prayer, called the Gdetree, 
which every religious Hindoo is bound to repeat three 
times a day. There are different gdetrees for the four dif- 
ferent general classes ; but that which is for the Brah- 
mins is said to be the best and the most efficacious. 
It is considered most holy and a Brahmin will never 
repeat it before people of a lower caste. This prayer 
is said to procure the forgiveness of all sins, however 
heinous and grievous they may have been, and to r»^ft 

[ 81 ] 

the heart perfectly holy. The following is translation of 
this short but wonder-working prayer ;— * " earth, 
firmament, and heaven, we meditate on the great light of 
the Sun ; may it enlighten our Jiearts /" They offer 
water to the Sun three times a day ; they make a 
hollow with both of their hands take water in it, and 
present it towards the sun with a mumbling prayer ; 
this is a most necessary part of their daily worship. 
While bathing, they ajso offer water to their deceased 

Counting beads is also a part of religion ; and some 
religious people have them and count them with the 
repetition of some sacred verse or the name of some 
god. They are made of a certain wood and one or two 
other things. 


In such daily worship as we have spoken of, people 
of the three higher castes next to the priests, that is, 
the warriors, merchants, and Kayasths officiate them* 
selves ; but when they have an extraordinary pooja, 
they have to call in their family priest. In daily 
worship all the members of a family do not unite ; but 
it is performed by the one or two older members of the 
family. In this case, most of the children of families 
have no other religion but what consists in bathing 
and abstaining from food prepared by people of inferior 
castes. Women have their own devotions. In extra-: 
ordinary poojas, all the members of the family are 
present ; the men repeat hymns and prayers, and the 
women and children are mute observers of what is 
going on. 

Besides family priests, Hindoos have also Gooroot, 
or spiritual guides, whose alleged duty is to giy^e their 
disciples moral and religious instruction. When any 
one is taken under their spiritual guardianship, they 

[ 82 ] 

■whisper a sacred verse (mounter J 9 or in the case of the 
inferior castes, the name of Rfim or some other god 
into their ear. These gooroos are held in high vene- 
ration and are always cheerfully paid for their office 
according to the circumstances of the families or per- 
sons they have under the spiritual care. This office 
or relationship is, however, purely nominal, for they 
seldom or never discharge the duties that are supposed 
to devolve upon them. Having them is a mere custom ; 
and their benedictions, ( a great thing in a Jlindoos 
estimations) is almost all the return that they make 
for the attention of their ckelds or disciples. The high- 
er and middle castes have Brahmins for their gooroosi 
and the lowest, Goosdeens f a sect of devotees. Brah- 
mins are too high to be gooroos to people of the lower- 
classes, many of whom, however, do not trouble them- 
selves with a spiritual guide at all. 

Part of the religion of all caste3 consists in feeding 
Brahmins. This is considered highly meritorious, 
and the Brahmins take good care that the doctrine be 
not forgotten by the people, nor lose its force ; but 
they ure never known to teach the laity to feed the 
poor, the blind, the halt, and the maimed. They are 
notorious gluttons and fall to their viands as if they 
had not eaten for some days ; some of them indaed 
eat so much a3 to endanger their life. The food, that 
is set before them, consists of cakes baked in ghee 
(poorees) and either some sort of vegetable with it or 
sweetened curdled milk, and also a sweetmeat called 
perd* Sugar, milk, and curdled milk are sometimes 

* The per J, ia a preparation of cream, sugar a id s jqi? spij33 ; 
no flour is used in it ; if it were and the sweetmeat were mad 2 by 
any but a Brahmin, and that of the highest sect, a Brahmin would 
not eat i|; this is the reason that other sorts of sweetmeats in 
which flour is used are not eaten by Brahmins. Flour, in the 
preparation of sweetmeats, is polluted by the touch of a man of 
an inferior caste ; but cream, sugar, and spices are not. 

[ 83 ] 

given in3tead of the vegetable ; and now and then, 
they are fed only with large heap3 of perds, and occa- 
sionally with paras and milk. At these dinners the 
prie3ts have their own brass jug3 to drink out of, and 
for plates they are supplied by the inviter with pat- 
trees, a thing made of a certain kind of leaves joined 
together with little pins of stiff straw. After dinner 
and before leaving, each Brahmin is presented with the 
trifling sum of a few pice, generally four ; some 
who are in affluent circumstances give to each 
man also a brass jug. The number of Brahmins that 
are invited is according to the circumstances of the 
inviter \ it may bo five or ten or twenty or more. 
Three and thirteen only are not invited ; the feeding of 
these numbers forms part of the funeral ceremonies. 
Dinners to Brahmins are given very often as a tribute 
of thanksgiving to some god for the accomplishment of 
** certain important objects, such as a removal of sickness 
from a family, the safe arrival of a relation from a 
distance, success in some undertaking, <fec. The Bran-" 
mins that are thus invited are those who are poor or 
who have not get the comforts of this life. Thosef 
who are well off do not condescend to eat in such a 
mean way, as it is considered by them. 

The castes below that of the writers have not much 
of a showy religion ; indeed they may almost be said 
to have none. On this account, however, they are not 
worse than those people of the higher castes who make* 
loud professions of it ; but on the whole better, be- 
cause having no cloak to cover their crimes, they are 
more plain hearted and generally more honest: There 
are some men among them here and there who, al! 
their life time, abstain from taking even a single 
mouthful of meat ; they keep beads and count them 


[ 84 ] 

and repeat the names of some gods. By doing this, 
and more particularly by abstaining from meat, and 
doing two or three other trifling things, which people 
of their castes do not and which we shall just mention, 
they are called BhakU or Saints. 

The religion of those castes, that are lower than 
that of the writers, consists in the following practices. 
When they rise in the morning and while they are yet 
only half awake, they repeat the name of Ram, one of 
their incarnations or sometimes of some other god. They 
bathe in the forenoon between ten and twelve, which is 
just before taking their breakfast. When they are 
about to retire for the night, they again twice or thrice 
repeat the name of Ram. This is the whole of their 
daily religion. Sometimes they also have pooja ; then 
they call a Brahmin to perform it for them in their 
houses and of course pay him for the * trouble. As 
these people have not got much of an external religion* 
or at least not so much as those of the higher castes 
have, they have no priests to wait on them regularly 
and therefore pay them just at the time when they 
require their services. Another and a very important 
part of their religion is also inviting Brahmins and 
giving them dinners. The food is not dressed by the 
inviters ; but the priests themselves cook after they 
are provided with the articles, which are flour, clarified 
butter, some vegetables, salt, spices, sugar, milk, curdl- 
ed milk, and one or two other things. A part of the 
floor of a room or of the small yard in front of the 
house is consecrated by being plastered with cow-dung 
and water ; this is generally done by the invitera them- 
selves. After the place is purified one or two Brah- 
mins begin to cook. Unmarried girls or virgins are 
considered a kind of sacred beings, and inviting a 
number of them and giving them food is also a religious 


Act ; it is considered meritorious and is often observed 
by them. These girls of different castes, however, 
eat separate. They also shew themselves religious by 
observing the various Hindoo festivals and having va- 
rious sorts of dishes which is almost the sole induce- 
ment to observe them and of which they principally 
consist. Their religion, moreover, consists in the wor- 
ship of Brahmins, and whenever they meet a man of 
this caste, they say, Pdldgan Mdhdrdj, that is, / wor- 
ship your feet, great Sir! Some of them actually 
throw themselves down at the feet of Brahmins in the 
act of worship. 

This religion of which we have spoken in the pre-* 
ceding lines is that of the middle classes such as agri-* 
culturists, mechanics, <fcc. But the lowest castes have 
scarcely # any religion at all. They are considered by 
* others and consider themselves as outcasts from socie- 
ty and not fit to profess and practise any sort of reli- 
gion. They can eat without bathing ; do seldom re- 
peat the name of any god ; and Brahmins will not go 
into their houses to perform pooja and to eat. Some 
time3, though very seldom, a priest performs pooja for 
somebody of this lowest class in his own house ; the 
unclean person cannot of course join it, but must be a 
mere distant spectator. A person of this caste must 
not touch a Brahmin, but must offer his respects and 
worship at a distance. Though these people are con- 
sidered so unclean by the priests, yet the latter will 
take good care never to refuse their pice ; these are 
never thought unclean, and they will even accept 
from them dry articles of food, such as grain, flour, 
<fcc. But on the whole*, people of these lowest classes 
have not got even a show of religion ; they are con-* 
sidered too mean in the scale of existence to be reli- 
gious, According to the Hindoo religion elephants ^ 


[ 86 ] 

monkeys, cows, mountains, rivers, and trees rank 
higher, and we may say infinitely higher, than people 
of these classes. 

The priests are always ready to work on the creduli- 
ty of the people. Whenever an epidemic prevails 
among children, they liavp a fine opportunity to lead 
women by the ear ; goddesses are recommended to be 
worshipped and offerings to be made to them, which 
offerings are of course appropriated by the crafty Brah- 
mins to their own use. Women generally worship 
some goddess or other ; and sometimes when there is 
no image of a goddes3 in a neighbourhood, a Brahmin 
secretes an image in a small hole dug on purpose, 
with a little loose earth on the image, leaving a part 
of it exposed, so that it can be seen ; and then gives 
out to the people living about the place that a goddess 
has graciously appeared there and calls upon all to 
worship her. Scores of people, but especially women 
flock to the place, see the image, believe it to have 
really come out of the exrth, and begin their worship 
with prostrations, offerings &c. Occasionally, when a 
priest secretes an image in a hole, he puts under it a 
few handfuls of the pulse called chand in a moistened 
state ; the pulse, when moistened well, (which is air 
ways the case) swells in the course of an hour or two- 
to double its size and raises part of the image above 
the surface of the earth ; the people can see the image 
rise, but not knowing its cause t ike it for a miracle 
or something supernatural, and worship the image 
with redoubled faith and zeal to the great satisfaction 
and profit of the priest. Now and then one of this 
cla'is pretends to have been favoured with a night 
vision by a goddess, who, he says desires a temple to 
be erected for her ; in this he sometimes succeeds and 
at others not. The writer ktiows a certain place in 
this station where sometime ago there v. as no image 

[ 87 ] 

of a goddess but a cunning Brahmin has set it up 
there now. He commenood his operations just as has 
been said, (though withou the help of the pulse) and 
has succeeded. The women of the place always resort 
to it, more particularly in the hot season, when some 
sickness or other is always prevalent in their families ; 
at such times there are a good many about the place, 
and the trade of the priest flourishes better. He has 
been allowed by the owner of the piece of land to 
build a hut there in which he lives. A small white 
platform of masonry is raised under a tree on which 
the image is placed ; a small well has been dug 
from which worshippers are supplied with water for 
purposes of purification and offerings ; and the man 
has there two or three flower beds also, from which 
flowers are presented to the image. He once pretend- 
ed, that the goddess, who is worshipped there, had 
appeared to him in a dream and said that a temple 
must be built for her on the spot. This order has not 
been executed yet, nor is there any great likelihood of 
its being attended to soon, because the people about 
the neighbourhood are poor. The writer once passing 
by a temple of a goddess heard one or two of these 
religious robbers sing out to worshippers this lucrative 

Dan charhao debf mai ; 
Papi narx ny jiio bhai. 
That is, present offerings to our mother the goddess \ 
sinners, and you will not go to lidl. Sometimes, mis- 
chievous Mohomedan boys or men throw away these 
images from their places into holes or ponds unobser- 
ved, and then the priests give out, that the god or god- 
dess has become angry and left the place in conse- 

[ 88 ] 



Mel& or religious fairs — Pilgrimages* 

Melds or religious fairs are also a very important 
part of the Hindoo religion, and there are a great 
many of them throughout the year. The time and 
place are both fixed by their religious writings or tradi- 
tion or custom. These fairs ar6 mostly held on the 
banks of rivers or in their immediate vicinity. When 
a meld is about to take place, the first people that 
start for it, are the merchants, who expect a good sale 
for their things there. The articles of merchandise 
that ttey mostly take with them are horses, elephants, 
camels, bullocks, cows, different sorts of clothing 
stuffs, various kinds of play things for children, look- 
ing glasses and course ornaments for the poorer classes 
of women, sweetmeats and a hundred such other things. 
These people having arrived on the spot put down 
their things in a commodious place, mostly under 
shady trees. If the place, where the fair is held, be 
distant from their homes, they generally arrive there 
one or two days before the other people ; but if the 
place be only at a short distance, they mostly arrive 
there on the morning of the same day. On the morn- 
ing of the day on which the fair commences they 
spread out their things on a piece of cloth and expose 
them for sale. 

Though religious fairs are a part of the Hindoo re- 
ligion, Hindoos do notshew the least seriousness in 
them. They are exces&h ely lend of attending meltis ; 

[ 89 ] 

but this excessive fondness arises for the sake of the 
tamdsha (fun or amusement) that is to be believed in 
them. This tamdsha is thought to consist in the sight 
of the congregation of hundreds of thousand of hu- 
man beings of different sorts. One of the objects of 
men who go to melas is to gaze at women ; here Hin- 
doo women of all degrees of beauty and in dresses of 
every approved colour appear without any screen to 
conceal them from the public gaze. This is the reason 
why thousands of Mohomedans, inhabitants of cities, 
(there are comparatively very few out in the country) 
who have neither part nor lot in the Hindoo religion 
flovik to a Hindoo religious fair. Fond as men are of 
attending melas, women are still more so. If a man 
were prevented from going to a mela, he would not 
think much of it after it was over ; but this would be 
a great trial to a woman and would furnish a subject 
for talk for sometime. Tamdsha rather than religion is 
the spring that sets a great number of them also in 
motion. If the place where the fair is held be quite 
near to their home, the family starts from home the 
same morning that the fair is held ; but if it be at 
some distance they leave it one or two days before. 
Before they leave home, all the members of a family, 
but especially the women and children are in a great 
state of happy excitement ; it forms all the while the most 
important part of their talk. The last day that they 
are at home, the women are chiefly engaged in making 
preparations for it by dressing dishes to be used 
on the way and at the mela. These dishes consist of 
thin soft cakes of wheat flour with other salt and 
sweet preparations of the same flour, sugar, spices, 
and vegetables, all dressed in ghee. The poor, how- 
ever, prepare them in oiL Dishes cooked in ghee and 
oil can be removed out of the kitchen (chauka) and eaten 
any where, provided they are not touched by people o/ 

H H 

[ 90 ] 

rery inferior castes. Food thus dressed is called pak- 
kd khdnd, or one that attaches no ceremonial unclean- 
ness by removal from the kitchen ; and that food 
which is not wholly dressed in ghee or oil is called 
kctchchd klidnd, or one that attaches ceremonial un- 
cleaness by a removal. Hindoos take their meals in 
kitchens or in a place adjoining them ; this is treated 
of in a following portion of this work. 

The day that they start for the mela, men and 
women all attire themselves in their best cloths,' and 
the latter at this time put on all their spare ornaments 
and jewels, which they do not daily use when at home. 
Those of the inhabitants of cities who are wealthy 
get conveyances (Bahlees) drawn by bullocks for them- 
selves and the females of their families ; men and wo- 
men have separate vehicles. Those people of cities 
who are not possessed of wealth, but yet are in toler- 
ably easy circumstances get conveyances for their wo- 
men and children ; but they themselves walk The 
women and children of those city families that are 
poor walk. Many of the people living in the country, 
that is in villages, keep clumsy carts (chhakrds); thes* 
on such occasions they use for the conveyance of their 
women. Such carts are kept to carry corn, timber, 
4c., and have no covering like the bahlees, — vehicles 
meant to carry passengers ; but a temporary covering 
is drawn over them whenever required. Conveyances 
are used for the females of the middle classes (that is, 
when they have means) when the place of the mela is 
at a distance from their homes ; but they are not us 3d 
when the distance is short. At the time of a mela, 
thousands, and hundreds of thousands of human beings, 
—men, women, and children, on foot, in vehicles, and 
on horseback, with a very few on camels and elephants 
•re seen flocking to the place of general resort. Wo** 

t 91 1 

men attered in dresses of various gay colours, as well as 
white muslin sheets, walking in all the pride and brave- 
ry of their tinkling ornaments, which assail the ear on 
every side ; children dressed in their finest clothes 
with silver and gold rings about their wrists and ancles, 
walking or riding with their parents with smiling faces ; 
and men with white or dyed turbans and caps, and 
mostly long coats and dhotees (pieces worn about the 
waist) with swords, staves or substantial sticks in their 
hands, — altogether make up one vast stream of hu- 
man flesh hurrying in the same direction and ming- 
ling in an immense sea of human being3 already con- 
gregated. As soon as people reach the mela they 
put up for the day or the time that they are to be 
there under some tree (when practicable) which in 
the day protects them from the heat of the sun 
and at night from the dew. There are very ex- 
tensive mangoe orchards in the greater part of Nor- 
thern India, and hundreds of thousands of people can 
take shelter in them. Very often three or four fami- 
lies take shelter under one tree. Those that have 
carriages keep their things in them ; those that have 
not put them on the ground. Women of respectable 
families that have come in carriages may have kept 
themselves screened frsm public gaze while on the way ; 
but as soon as they arrive in the mela tlm screening 
is over. They alight from the conveyances before the 
crowd, and do not cover their faces with the veil that 
goes over their head and round their bodies as they 
would do when seen walking in a street towards a river 
to bathe. The screening of females from public view 
was not originally a custom of the Hindoos ; but was 
brought into practice at the time of the Mohomedan 
government on account of the violence and irregularity 
i of the conduct of the Moslems. At the present day it 
is not in general practice among the Hindoos, but i& 

[ 92 ] 

kept up by those people of the writers' caste and a few 
others that are much in the company of Mohomedans 
and have adopted a few of those of their manners and 
customs that have nothing to do with their religion. 

After a family has taken up a position in a mela, the 
majority of the members of it proceed to bathe in the 
sacred river. Men and women all bathe at the same 
places in promiscuous crowds — only that women pay 
so much regard to decency as that each one of them 
keeps at the distance of a few yards from men. While 
bathing, they have about their persons a long and pret- 
ty coarse piece of linen which keeps their covered, 
through of course it adheres fast to them when wet. 
This piece may be about six yards long and more than 
a yard wide. When they put off this piece and put on 
their dresses, they do it in such a manner that their 
persons are not exposed though there are great crowds 
about them.* While bathing men and women both 
generally repeat the name of some god. As soon as 
bathing is over, they walk to the temple, which is close 
to the bathing place, bow to the idol, make on offering 
of something, offer a short ejaculatory prayer, and 
then retire ; this, with bathing in the river, is the 
sum and substance of all the religion and piety that is 
manifested in a mela. When this is done, the worship 
part of all the fuss is over, and the remainder of the 
time of the attendance at the mela is left to pure 
amusement. After bathing and worshipping the idol, 
people retire to the tree under which they have fixed 

* On ordinary occasions, however, women of the higher and 
wealthier class often screen themselves from public view bj 
bathing and dressing and undressing behind walls and rooms 
of strorg masonry that are built on the bank of rivers for 
the convenience of bathers. Sometimes mats ate put up for 
the same purpose* 




t 93 ] 

their temporary abode, and partake of the food that 
was prepared the preceding day and which they have 
brought with them. They can also get sweetmeats 
from confectioners in the mela ; but those who have 
brought victuals from home do not dj so, unle3S it be for 
the sake of pleasing little children. There are Moho- 
medan bakers also in the mela, who sell leavened cakes 
and meat ; but they are only for Mohomedans ; — 
Hindoos would never touch victuals cooked by them. 
While the majority of the members of a family are. 
gone to bathe and worship, one or two are left with the 
things to take care of them ; there are always a great 
many rogue3 and vagabonds in melas, who are on the 
alert to carry off things that are not looked after. 
Those who are left to take care of things go to per* 
form their religious duties when the others return. 
After people have done breakfast, the men go about 
the mela to see things and amuse themselves. When 
they are thus strolling about, they purchase a few 
play thing3 for their children and also one or two 
thing3 for their women if requested. Women in 
general remain under the trees sjnging and gazing 
about and wondering at the vast assemblage of hu- 
man beings around them. Those of the middle and 
lower classes pay a visit to some shops where they 
purchase a few trifles for themselves, such as small 
looking glasses, rings and bracelets of glass or lac, little 
bells for their toe3, and so forth. 

If the fair be one of unusual celebrity and the 
people have come a good distance they remain there for 
I one or two days or even more. 'All the time that they 

| remain there, they daily bathe in the sacred stream, 

bow before the idol in the temple, and make it trifling 
! presents. Children are often lost and kidnapped in 

! melas, and parents are obliged to keep them constantly 

[ 94 ] 


with themselves. While moving about in a crowd, those l-j 

children that have silver and gold ornaments about 
their persons are to be watched with particular care. 
After remaining at a mela for the usual time, they 
leave it for their homes and return in the same style 
they came, minus the eatables they brought with them 
and plus the few trifling things they have purchased 
in the fair. The merchants, however, m:ike consider- 
able sales at these times and some others also return 
home with important bargains, such as of camels, 
horses, <fec. These are the only people that seem to 
derive any good from the fair. The professed object of 
a Hindoo in going to a mela is spiritual benefit in the 
purification of the heart and removal of sins ; but 
instead of making the burden of his sin3 lighter, he 
returns with a heart that has grown worse by the 
temptations to which it has been incessantly exposed. 
But the mela ha3 been a dasioor (custom) that has come 
down to them from their forefathers, and benefit 
or no benefit they must go on in the track without 
Exercising in the least their reason about it. 

Pilgrimages form another most important part of 
the Hindoo religion ; but they are not undertaken by 
all that even profess to be religiou3. Tae most cele- 
brated places of pilgrimage in India are K i^heo (Bena- 
res), Pryiig (Allahabad), R;ime3hwar, GangaVigur, Ajo- 
dhia, Baddreenauth, Mathura, Haridwar and Jaggar- 
nauth. If pilgrims are not regular faqueers or de- 
votees, while on pilgrimage they travel just like other 
travellers. The manner of doing so is described in 
one of the following chapters. But if they are fa- 
queers or religious beggars or devotees by profession, 
they always have their bodies daubed with mud and 
some colours, and keep the greater part of their persons 
exposed. Pilgrimages are undertaken professedly for the 


[ 95 ] 

removal of sin, and the sum and sub3tance of them 
lies in the following things. — First, in the trouble 
undergone in the journey ; (for thi3 reason w.ilking is 
considered much more meritorious than riding.) S3- 
condly in shaving* and bathing at the sacred place. 
Thirdly in giving alm3 to the priest3 that attend there. 
And fourthly and chiefly in seeing the idol and bow- 
ing before it, (which is called dardian) and making it 
some offerings. 

Below, Allahabad where the Ganges and Jumna 
unite, a third river called Saraswatee, sister to these 
two according to the Hindoos, is said to flow under 
them. The union of the two former and supposed 
third one is called trihenee ; and one of duties of those 
who resort to this sacred place is to lie down at the 
junction of the rivers, of course near the shore, where 
it is shallow, and turn on their sides for about a mi- 

Haridwar, meaning the gate of Haree or Vishnoo, 

is one of their greatest sacred places, and the number 
of pilgrims and others who assemble there annually 
is calculated to amount to two millions and a half. 
Most of them come to wash away their sins ; but 
thousands, and these from remote places too, such as 
Cabul, Cashmere, <fec, are attracted by traffic ; they 
deal there in the best horses, bullocks, cows, camels, 
elephants, linen and woollen stuffs of various sorts and 
a thousand other thing3. This, with other places of 
similar general resort, is one of the worst places of 
which one could go. After every twelve years a much 
more celebrated Mela takes place here ; at such times 

* It is said in one of the Hindoo scriptures, that all the sins of 
a man lodge in his hairs and are removed by shaving in a sa- 
cred place. 


[ 96 ] 

many more attend than on common occasions and that 
too from moit distant places ; and the assemblage of 
millions of human beings on one spot is really over- 
whelming. The trade of merchants, vagabonds, 
thieves, and all sorts of rogues flourishes here and 
their Leader reigns supreme. The city of Haridwiir 
is built near the pass from which the Ganges issues 
out of the Himmalaya mountains. 

Among all the places of Hindoo pilgrimage Benares 
is also one of the most holy ; it contains thousands 
of temples ; and all sorts of religious beggars are to 
be found here. It is full of sacred bulls too. To this 
place also thousands of pilgrims resorts every year 
from different parts of the country. The shortest res- 
idence here is said to be attended with the greatest 
spiritual benefit ; and they who die here are at once 
taken to heaven. 

Jaggarnauth meaning Lord of the World, in the 
south eastern part of India is another very celebrated 
holy place which is visited by a vast number of pil- 
grims every year. People of all castes eat here to- 
gether and do not lose their caste. They believe that 
if seven pots of rice be put here one on top of an- 
other to boil, the rice in the pot that is on the top of 
all will be cooked and ready for use first. Such is the 
wonderful credulity of the Hindoos that, this report, 
(while has Jaggarnaths' crafty priests at its bottom) 
is believed all over the country without the least 
doubt. They also say, if any one acts here hypocriti- 
cally he becomes a leper ; this too they believe, 
without having ever seen it. Great numbers of pil- 
grims die here annually through want and suffering ; 
the place about the temple for some extent is covered 
with bones. This abominable god has been very ap- 

[ 9? 3 

propriately called " Moloch," and the place where he 
reigns the "valley of Hinnom." The ugly huge idol 
is once a year drawn in a great car ; at such times 
some pilgrims throw themselves beneath the car and 
are instantly crushed to death. People who do so are 
believed to pass to heaven at once, and when a pilgrim 
crushes himself under the wheels a hellish shout of 
joy is uttered by the assembled priests and thousands 
of pilgrims. As a full and faithful account of this 
idol, its licentious and repacious priests, and the de- 
luded pilgrims, is given in other works on India, we 
need say nothing more here. 

Many pilgrims visit more sacred places than one, and 
the greater the number of the sacred places visited* 
the greater is the rnerit that they acquire. After 
visiting one or more of these holy places a Hindoo 
seems to enjoy the greatest complacency and feel quite 
easy as to his welfare in the future world; He thinks 
he has accomplished a great thing, and believes his 
burden of sins has-been removed. His belief of the 
removal of his sins is not feigned, but real ; and it is 
real because he is in the dark A* great part of the 
merit that pilgrims believe themselves to be possessed 
of is thought to be obtained by the hardships and 
sufferings that they have to bear while on pilgrimage. 
These consist of hunger and thirst, weariness from 
walking hundreds of miles, exposure to cold, wet, and 
hot seasons, and the danger of falling into the hands 
of robbers and with wild animals in some parts of the 
Country. Comparatively very few of them use con- 
veyances ; hundreds of thousands of them walk, and 
the poor deluded creatures certainly suffer a great 
deal. Once a few pilgrims were returning home from 
a holy place on the hills ; it was the hot season and 
very sickly, too ; among them were an. old man and. 


[ 98 ] 

his wife. Having walked a good distance under a 
scorching sun, they with the other pilgrims stopped 
under the shade of a tree, and for refreshment partook 
of a melon and $attoo (flour of parched grain) both 
of a heating nature and drank water after it. This 
produced an attack of cholera and in a few minutes 
both breathed their last one after the other. They 
were returning home no doubt with light hearts, but 
could never see their friends again. The people said 
they died a most happy death, that is, in the perform* 
ance of a very meritorious duty. The greater the 
distance a' pilgrim goes the more meritorious is 
the pilgrimage. As the pilgrims of Upper India 
visit? the sacred places- that are about or near Ben- 
gal, those of the latter part of the country go to pay 
their worship at those of the former. They are gene- 
rally seen in companies of forty or fifty,' men and wo- 
men, and sometimes little children too. They are 
short, dark, and feeble creatures, having oiled bodies 
and a scanty covering about their loins. Their women 
are generally seen with bundles on their heads, a pot 
in one hand, and a little child in one arm- trudging 
their way under a fierce sun for fourteen or fifteen miles 
every day. Some pilgrims, bring a much greater suf- 
fering upon themselves. All the distance that lies 
between their homes and some celebrated holy place 
that they have determined to visit, they measure with 
their body. They walk upon their knees and hands ; 
each time that they more forward, they produce their 
hands a little in front of their bodies, lower their bodies, - 
bend them forward, and in doing so let their chests 
touch the ground They do this for the greater part 
of the day, and certainly it is a very painful and labo- 
rious exercise when continued for hours without inter- 
mission and that especially under a burning sun. 
They make a very little way every day* and it is some' 

I 09 i] 

-months before they arrive at the holy place. Onc$, 
one of these crawlers was seen to have a woman with 
him who seemed to be his wife ; she had a little broom 
with her, and every time before the man moved for- 
ward, slightly swept the ground before him to remove 
little stones and gravel which would pierce his hands 
and knees. Very few, however, allow this to be done ; 
sometimes they have nobody with them. Some who 
saw him engaged in this meritorious duty, said, with 
some degree of astonishment in their faces, — " for such 
a work help must be got from God ; it is not every 
one that can do so." One thing is very certain, that 
all these poor deluded creatures who bring so much 
suffering upon themselves in different ways are at least 
very anxious to have their sins and their future con- 
sequences removed, and that they are very sincere in 
what they set about. If they were not anxious and 
sincere they could not long support themselves under 
these trials and hardships ; they could not persevere. 
.Ignorant and deluded as ,they are,, they are a^thousand 
{.times better than imny highly enlightened philosophers 
in Christendom, who, "fleeing from superstition, 
have leaped over religion," and are walking in the 
broad road of atheism,— a road that even devils do 
not walk in ; because they believe in the existence of 
a God and tremble ! 

[ 100 ] 



Supplying the thirsty with water — Building temples and 
places of sacred bathing — Alms to the hungry and other ways 
of obtaining merit — Transmigration of souls — Festivals — De- 

There are a few easier ways by which, according to 
the Hindoos, some merit can be obtained. Some people 
who are wealthy employ Brahmins in the hot season, 
and place them on public thoroughfares, both in cities 
and out of them, with large earthen vessels full of 
water to supply thirsty passengers and -travellers. 
This is considered a peculiarly meritorious act, and 
is of course very accommodating to those who are in 
want of water. Cold water is valuable to the thirsty 
at any time, but more particularly so in the hot 
season ; especially when a man has been travelling 
under a burning sun for hours and his tongue and 
throat are parched with extreme thirst. He may have 
had nothing with him to draw water, or he may have 
found no well on the way (for in some parts of the 
country, wells are far apart) ; he sees the large earth- 
en vessels full of cold water, and the eyes sparkle 
with joy ; as the hart panteth after the water brooks 
so has he been panting after water. If a traveller 
has some drinking vessel with him, he takes water 
in that ; if not, he drinks through an open bamboo - 
pipe ; it is supported on a stand or some such thing. 
The water 1s poured by the Brahmin with an earthen 
or brass cup or mug at one end of the pipe, which haa 
a slope ; the water runs to the other end aruJJa^re- 

C 101 ] 

ceived by the drinker in a sort of hollow made by the 
■ palms of both hands. This arises from the difference 
of castes. When the large earthen vessels are ex- 
hausted they are supplied by the Brahmin from some ad- 
jacent well. A Brahmin is employed that the water 
may be of use to people of all castes. All classes 
could not take water from a man of an inferior caste. 
"These Brahmins outside of towns always invite pas- 
sengers and travellers to -drink water and beg of them 
alms also. Begging is. one of the profitable duties of 
a Brahmin. But it is very seldom that he gets any 
thing, except it be from some wealthy traveller who 
-gives him a few shells (cowries) or a pice at the out- 
side. Wealthy travellers have one or more attendants 
with them who supply them with water. After dark 
these Brahmins retire to their .houses. They get two 
or three rupees, a month. 

There are some 'Hindoos who direct their attention 

-to the wants of the brute creation on this point. 
They make reservoirs of strong masonry adjoining a 

< well, and in the hot season while drawing water morn- 
ing and evening by means of their bullocks for their 
field or gardens .fill the reservoirs also. These recep- 
tacles are on a level with the surface of the ground, 
and water is held in them by slight walls of about 

* three feet high. . These reservoirs may generally be 
about five or six yards long, and a yard .wide. After 
returning from pasture in the forenoon for repose, and 
at retiring at dark for the, night, whole droves of cows, 
bullocks, buffaloes, and goats slake their thirst here. 

.This and the preceding act are certainly very good in 
themselves and conduce much to the comfort of both 
man and beast. Water is a most precious thing in 

. all hot countries. 

I i 

[ 102 ] 

Some religious people would have merit by making 
large wells on public thoroughfares in places where 
there are none. This is also meant to supply passen- 
gers and travellers with water. Very often people 
also irrigate fields from these wells. A large well of 
strong masonry costs from two to three thousand ru- 
pees, and contains such a vast quantity of water that 
it is never exhausted. Round these wells there is a 
circular, white, smooth platform about a yard high 
and of about the same width, where people sit when 
they draw and drink water. ' The making of a large 
substantial well brings a person a good deal of renown. 

Many of them build temples also. These are large 
or small according to the means a man is possessed of. 
Most of the large ones are built at an expense of a good 
many thousand rupees. Sometimes temples are built 
as tokens of gratitude for unusual success in business 
or attainment of an object that was greatly desired. 
In this place lives a poor potter, who, while digging 
an old wall adjoining his* house discovered a pot full 
of some money which was secreted* there by one of 
his forefathers. The poor man was of course overjoy- 
ed at the discovery, and after it was proved that some 
one or other of his immediate forefathers was in better 
circumstances than himself, the money was by the local 
authorities made over to him. To shew his gratitude 
the man has built a small substantial temple near his 

* It is a common practice among the Hindoos to bury their 
wealth. Some who have hundreds of thousands of rupees under 
ground keep a lamp of clarified butter always burning there. 
Sometimes when digging old ruins and other places where towns 
and cities have stood, vessels full of rupees and gold mohurs are 
discovered. Hiding wealth under ground was thought most 
necessary under the Mohomedan Government on account of the 
extortion and rapacity of the Mohomedan Rulers. 

[ 103 ] 

house, which stands on a public road, where thousands 
of people pass every day. The temple of course had 
an image in it, and many of the Hindoo passengers 
present it their hasty adorations -as they pass along. 

Some of them make ghauts or steps of stone on the 
banks of rivers for the convenience of those who bathe 
there. Sometimes there are two or three rooms ad- 
joining these steps. This is also considered meritorious, 
and one too, that brings a person much fame. 

. In times of scarcity some of the wealthy professors 

of religion deal out grain in small portions to the 

; poor. People of this character, however, are very few 

| in the country. Presenting cows to Brahmins is also 

considered as highly deserving of reward in a future 

life, and is very frequently practised by Hindoos. 

t The artful priests never lose sight of those doctrines 

by which they can make something. In those parts 

of the country that are not under the British they 

sometimes take away fine cows from poor people by 

force, pretending that they have a right to them as 

they are their priests. 

There are others wha try to obtain merit in a much 
cheaper way. Some of. them purchase birds from 
fowlers and let them . go free ; thus for a few pice 
they will discharge the contents of a whole basket 
and feel a great satisfaction at the* act. This accord- 
ing to them is saving life and will be put to their ac- 
count hereafter. There are some others who get one 
or two pice worth of flour of *wheat or some other grain 
and drop a little at every ant -hole that they find when 
they go out. This is to give the ants some food, and 
. is considered very worthy. 


'" The transmigration of souls in an important doctrine 
in the Hindoo religion, There common saying is, that 
as a man behaves in the present life so he shall receive 
in the next, which is to be in this world ; and also as 
a man has acted in the preceding life so he receives 
in the present. The highest happiness that is pro- 
mised in their religion is, absorption in the divine 
<nature. When J>y thousands of meritorious acts 
through a great many successive births a man be- 
comes perfectly holy, he becomes one with the Supreme 
Being, just as a river becomes one with the Ocean by 
falling into it. According to . their system hell con- 
sists in a soul being sent into the body of a very in- 
* ferior or abominable brute ; and this may be only 
once or a thousand times according to the sins of the 
man. When one has wealth, a grand house, a good 
many servants, houses, palanquins, nice food, fine 
raiment, and ease and comfort of every .kind, he is said 
to have led a good life in a preceding state of exist- 
ence. But when any one is a leper, or blind, or lame, 
or extremely poor, he is believed to be suffering for 
the sins that he has committed in a former life. This 
belief in a very:great measure steels the heart of the 
people against the claims of the wretched and the 
miserable. The belief of this doctrine is always in 
the heart and the expression of it ever on the tongue 
of a Hindoo ; but it utterly fails to govern him in a 
moral point of view. Though he constantly remem- 
bers this dogma of his religion ; yet he seldom avoids 
the commission of any vice that promises him the least 
degree of present profit or pleasure. Of course, they 
avoid some sins sometimes, but it is not through fear 
of pain in the next life, but from some other consider- 
ation, which may operate at, the time. The force Of 
this doctrine is mostly seen in their treatment of worms 
and insects, and some larger creatures ; they some- 

[ res i 

times avoid hurting them on the selfish plea that if 
they do so, they will themselves, be hurt in a similar 
manner in the next state of existence, which will, on 
account of their sins, be of a very helpless nature. It 
is said, once a Hindoo wished to offer a ram in sac- 
rifice. He went out of the village to an adjoining 
jungle or meadow where these animals were feeding, 
and purchased one. The Hindoo instead of removing 
the animal in a gentle way began most unmercifully 
to drag it by one of its legs. Seeing itself thus treat- 
ed, the brute, it is said, laughed out ; the man of 
course asked him why he laughed ; the ram said, it 
was nothing ; but the former insisted on knowing the 
reason, and the ram at last told him that in the next 
life he (that is, the man) will be a ram and himself a 
man, and will drag him as he is himself new dragged. 
The Hindoo did not like the idea of being thus handled 
and hearing this, let the poor animal go free. 'At 
present, however, they shew no such mercy to animals 
that are offered in sacrifice, and eaten. They are more- 
over often very unkind to their domestic beasts, and 
most unmerciful to the bullocks that draw their carts, 
and plough their fields. The hard and thick stick 
of the driver frequently sounds upon the bones of the 
unresisting dumb creatures ; and when made use of 
in ploughing, they are constantly goaded by the small, 
pointed, iron prick fastened to one end of a stick. The 
cow is considered a most sacred animal and worship- 
ped, and the bullock is called "the son of the cow;" 
but this high rank is not enough to ensure the brute 
a better treatment from the worshippers of its holy 
mother. The holy mother herself is often cudgled by 
her owner. 

We mention here a few instances of the threatened 
punishment in a future state of certain evil actions 

^committed m this life. One of their sacred boats 
Bays ; whoever steals a Brahmin's property will be a 
crocodile or some such watery animal ; he, who steals 
fruit, will he a monkey ; he, who .steals corn, will be a 
anouse ; .he, who steals .water, will be a diver ; he, 
who steals oil, will be an insect ; he, who steals a deer, 
will be a wolf; he, who steals a precious stone, will 
be grass and plants for thousands of times ; he, who 
is of an angry temper and takes revenge, will be a 
lion or tiger or some other ferocious, beast ; he, who is 
licentious, will be some unclean bird, worm or insect ; 
he, who drinks liquor, will have black teeth ; he, who 
defames the character of any one, will have stinking 
breath ; an unauthorized reader of the Holy Scrip- 
(.tuses .will be dumb ; a, horse stealer will be lame, and & 
lamp stealer blind. 

We turn our attention now to the Hindoo festivals. 
As a description of them is found in other works on 
India, we will only briefly notice them here. There 
^are two principal things found in all Hindoo festivals : 
. one is pooja or some religious .demonstration for the 
. benefit of the soul ; and the other palatable dishes 
and frolic*for the body. The latter has, by no means, 
been overlooked in any of tl^eir festivals ; in fact 
many of them have been instituted solely for the plea- 
sure which is derived from eating. The following are 
the principal. 

Makkar Sankrant. This takes place about the 
12th January, and. is observed on account of the Sun's 
entering the sign Capricorn on that day. Alms, con- 
sisting particularly of rice and ddl, mixed together 
(kicforeej and till sweetmeats, made of till (the seed 
of the Sesamum Orientale) and molasses, are given to 
Brahmins. People have these things also for them- 

[ 1W J 

selves. Alms given on this day are said to be pecu- 
liarly meritorious. 

Basant Panchamee, About the 22d of January, is 
instituted in honour of Spring, " which is personified, 
under the name' of Basant, who is said to wait on 
Kama\ the god of love." 

SHfvRATRE, or the night <jf Skiv, one of the princi- 
pal Hindoo gods, takes place on the 15th February; 
The 29th of every Hindoo month is kept sacred by the 
worshippers of Shiv ; but the 29th night of Fdgoon^ 
which is the 15th of February, is more celebrated than 
other nights, because on that night a man was taken 
to heaven as he accidentally did something, with which 
the god was quite pleased. Others do the same to ob- 
tain a like reward. This act consists of a pooja ; Brah- 
mins are called in to officiate, and are liberally paid 
for their trouble. 

HoLfB. The principal day is about the third of 
March, through it commences fifteen days before the 
full moon. People begin to have great rejoicings on 
account of the approach of Holee from the Basant or 
Spring holiday. The following is believed by some 
to be* its origin. A man named Harin Kaship had a 
sister, called Doonda, who was a monster and killer 
of children ; and people jvere much troubled by her. 
He had a son also whose name was Prahlad. This so& 
was a great worshipper of Bam* but his father was this 
god's greatest adversary, and wished that his son 
should forsake his worship, and also persecuted him 
for this devotion. His sister Doonda, the monster, 
said to him one day. "Ton- make a pile of wood* 
and I will take Prahlad in my lap and sit on the pile ; 
when 1 do so, you set fire to the pile : — I will escape 

[ 1«)8 ] 

and Prahlad will be destroyed" But contrary to her 
expectations, she was consumed and Prahlad saved. 
When the monster was destroyed, people rejoiced and 
sang songs abusive of her. In course of time these 
abusive songs began to be directed to all females that 
people used to see in streets during the holiday. These 
songs are of the most obscence and filthy character 
imaginable. As the festival, with the obscene songs, 
made a part of the popular Hindoo religion, Govern- 
ment did not interfere for about three fourths of- a 
eentury ; but at length they could bear it no longer, 
and most happily prohibited- the objectionable part of 
it by a public law. 

A few days before this festival takes place, country 
people, especially boys and young men begin to collect 
wood and every thing that can be burned, and make 
a pile outside the village or town to make a bonfire 
on the especial day. They walk about in bands at 
night ; and old doors, boards, sheds, <fcc. that are not 
firmly secured are apt to be carried away. In places 
(for instance in cities) where people do not have a 
common bonfire, each family places two or three logs 
of wood before its door in the street which answers 
the same purpose. They have the Holee pooja in the 
evening and make bonfires at midnight. At this 
time they go round the bonfire seven times with ears 
of barley corn in their hands ; after doing so, they 
throw the ears into the fire ; this ceremony is called 
dkhat ddlndy or throwing the barley into the fire. The 
next day they throw a red powder (abeer) over each 
other and make the greatest rejoicings imaginable. 
This is the great day for all sorts of nice dishes and 
nautch (dancing girls) at night. In fact, the Hindoos 
in this festival seem to be mad with pleasure. This 
day is for what they call dhooreree oordnd, or throwing 


[ 109 ] 

of the red powder over each other. The day following 
they go to see their friends and relations, and rejoice 
in being permitted to see each other safe and sound 
on another Holee day. In this respect, as well as in 
the demonstration of joy, it answers to the Christmas 
of European nations. Friends and relations that are 
at a convenient distance are also visited. 

R£m numeb, about the 26th of March, is observed 
in commemoration of the birth day of Earn, the sev- 
enth incarnation of Vishnoo. He became incarnate 
to destroy the monster R:iwan, the king of Lanka or 
Ceylon. This he at last effected by the help of Ha- 
nooman, the head of the monkey tribe. On this day 
the Hindoos fast and repair to temples, and those 
Brahmins who have the image of this god worship it 
at home, after bathing it with Panchdmirt, a mixture, 
of milk, curdled milk, clarified butter, sugar and 
honey. At noon they burn incense before it and 
offer it flowers, nihed (food) &c. After pooja, each 
worshipper takes a little of this nibed. People also 
beat drums and sing praises in honour of Earn. 

Nag Panchamee, about the 17th August, is observed 
to secure people from the bite of snake3. Pooja cere- 
monies are performed to this purpose, and a certain 
great serpent, is worshipped. 

Janam Ashtmee, about the 4th and 5th September, 
was instituted to celebrate the birth of Krishan, the 
eighth incarnation of Vishnoo. This incarnation, 
they believe, had a greater portion of the Deity than 
any of the preceding. On the first day, the Hindoos 
fast and repair to temples where images of this god 
are bathed with panchdmirt (the mixture just men- 
tioned) and worshipped with incense, flowers, nibed, 


[ no ] 

<fcc. People partake of holy offerings, and at night 
sing hymns in praise of the god. The next day they 
again repair to temples, singing and sounding cym- 
bals and playing on various other sorts of musical instru- 
ments, and shew their rejoicing for the god's birth by 
throwing on each other curdled milk coloured with 
powdered turmerick ; this is oalled Dad kdndo ; and 
is kept up because those people among whom Krishan 
was born did so. 

Jeth DussehrX, in May, is observed on account of 
a victory that Devee, the wife of Shiv got over a mon- 
ster. On this day people bathe in the river Ganges; 
give alms to Brahmins, and have a fair. Giving alms 
(of course always to Brahmins) and bathing on this 
day are considered peculiarly efficacious in obtaining 
the pardon of sins. 

Dew alee or the" festival of Lamps, about the 9th 

November, is celebrated in honour of Laklishmee, wife 

of Vishnoo, and the goddess of wealth and prosperity ; 

and also in commemoration of a victory that Vishnoo 

had over a great giant. One or two days before the 

festival-people whitewash their houses ; and when the 

day arrives, bathe themselves, put on clean clothes, 

and in the evening illuminate their houses with lamps* 

Merchants examine their accounts, see what wealth 

they have got, worship Lakhshmee with their account 

books before them, and pray for greater prosperity. 

Gambling is the greatest amusement of the festival ; 

and this is the principal day for thieves also which 

they have adopted for an omen. They go out on the 

last night of the Dewalee on a trial, and if they can 

pilfer' the hast thing, they believe the following year 

will be a prosperous one in their profession ; but if they 

do not get any thing, they think it will be quite other- 

t 111 ] 

wise. Confectioners make different kinds of sweets 
(play things) of sugar, which are sold with large quan- 
tities of a preparation of fried rice ; with these two 
children are quite pleased. Cowherds and others who 
have bullocks, cows, and buffaloes, paint the horns of 
these animals red. In short, this is the day that is 
particularly devoted to the goddess of wealth and pros- 
perity, for which pooja is performed and invocations 
are made. 

Kartik Ekadasee, takes place about the 20th of 
November. On this day many people fast and worship 
Vishnoo. This festival is observed because this god 
wakes in this day after a sleep of four months. 

Pooran Masee, is celebrated about the 23rd of 
November in honour of a victory that Shiv had over 
a monster. On this day people worship the image of 
this god, give liberally to Brahmins, and have a grand 
Mela, where all expend money according to their cir- 
cumstances. Sweetmeats and toys (as is usual in fairs) 
are got for children. 

Another Dussehra', about the 20th October, is 
observed in commemoration of the victory of Ram 
over Rawan, the ten headed monster and king of Cey- 
lon. Ram is of course particularly worshipped on 
this day. 

Salonan, takes place in August. On this day 
priests and other Brahmins tie pieces of coloured silk 
round one of the wrists of their jajmans, or those who 
are under their spiritual care, for which they are of 
course paid. A few days before this festival women and 
girls throw a few grains of barley in a little earth con- 
tained in a basket or some other thing ; it springs and 

[ 112 ] 

rises to the height of a few inches by the time of this 
holy-day. Women and girls •carry these plants, or 
bhoojarias, as they are called, to a river or tank 
and throw them into it. A tolerable fair is also held 
on this occasion. The origin of this festival is un- 

BIman Dwadashee, is celebrated about the 22nd 
of September in remembrance of the fifth incarnation 
of Vishnoo, caused to prevent the king Balee from 
obtaining dominion over the three worlds, (heaven, 
earth, and Patal or the regions below the earth) 
by his religious austerities. This incarnation was 
in the shape of a Dwarf. Vishnoo or the Dwarf asked 
of the king as much land as he could take in three 
steps ; the latter consented : and the dwarf took the 
heaven and the earth in the first two strides, and de- 
sired to know what he might have in the third. The 
king told him to put it on his head, which he did and 
crushed him down to Patal* of which he was made 

Pittar paksh, or the half month for the forefa- 
thers. This festival takes place in September. Poo-' 
jas are performed for the benefit of souls of departed 
forefathers. By a most unaccountable belief crows 
are considered as ancestors and fed as such. 

Ganesh Chauth, is observed about the middle of 
September in honour of the birth of Ganesh, the god 
of learning and prudence, with poojas and presents to 
Brahmins. This god in invoked by all students, au- 
thors, and others, before they commence their respec- 
tive labours. 

The faith and practices of Hindoo Faqueers also 

t 113 ] 

forms part of the popular religion of the Hindoos. 
Europeans have frequently written on this subject, 
and we will despatch it with a very few words. 

There are various sects of them. Some of them 
always keep up one of their arms till it gets dry, 
stiff, and withered. This penance is of course attended 
with great pain at the commencement ; the nails of 
the dried hand grow like large claws and pierce into 
the flesh of the palm. There are a few who keep up 
both of their arms. 

Some of them warm themselves in the hottest sea- 
son and under a most fierce sun with five heaps of fire. 
The devotee kindles the heaps of fire about his person 
and sits in the midst of them. This is also supposed to 
bring in great merit. 

A good many suspend themselves for hours with their 
head downwards and feet upwards ; no injurious con- 
sequences follow this practice. This is generally done 
in Melds and on occasions where there are a good many 
people assembled to witness the feat. It is always 
done to attract attention and proceeds from downright 
vanity. Some go a little further on this point, and 
keep themselves erect with their feet in the air and 
head resting on the ground. 

There is a class of them called Sanydseea or Param- \ 
tfmnses, who are believed to be the highest of all. ' 
These people observe no caste and go about in a state / 
of nature ; (they are not allowed to do so about places 
where Europeans live). They say their minds are so \ 
much taken up with the contemplation of the Deity \ 
that they cannot pay attention to sublunary things \ 

In fact, they are said by the Hindoo Shysters to be 

J j 

[114 ] 

a jls parts of the Deity himself. They are objects of 
n* ij worship to women. 

Some of the faqueers are called Gosains. They gene- 
rally live in religious houses made by pious people 
on river sides, and have a good many disciples about 
them. They are held in high veneration by all, and 
are well fed by the rich. They are fat, lazy beasts, 
good for nothing in the world, but on the contrary 
doing much mischief in it. This class of devotees of 
undertakes no voluntary suffering.-'' <ro < ,» v * / aAV.,0 


Some faqueers make a vow to keep standing for a 
certain number of years, generally twelve. This they 
do at all times aixd in all seasons. The scorching rays 
and blasts of the hot, the torrents of the rainy, and 
the piercing winds of the cold season are alike un- 
heeded by them. These are also believed to obtain 
extraordinary merit by this penance. 

A great many people who are too lazy to work turn 
into begging faqueers. They either shave their heads 
or wear their hair long, cover themselves with ashes, 
and put round their waist a reddish dyed raiment. 
They go about in the streets begging, and it is thus 
that they make their bread. 

There is a great tendency in some Hindoo minds to 
turn wandering faqueers, and some even who are 
in affluent circumstances adopt this course of life. A 
few do so with the expectation of happiness in a future 
state of existence, but most of them for the sake of plea- 
sure which is to be derived from travel and other ways. 

Some faqueers take upon them to abstain from eat- 
ing salt food all their life -time. This they do, and 


[ 115 1 

live on milk and sugar, sweetmeats, and such things. 
This is considered very meritorious and they are quite 
proud of it. Some of them are believed by the 
Hindoos to work great miracles. They are great tra- 
vellers, and in their travels sometimes pick up roots 
&c, that are possessed of extraordinary medicinal vir- 
tues. Begging faqueers are sometimes remarkably 
obstinate, and will not move from the door of a person 
till their wishes are complied with. These wishes, 
however, have • reference only to a little charity ; and 
this pertinacity is called Dharnd. At times they go so 
far as to threaten people with suicide ; in such cases, 
people believe,, the blood of the self-murdering man 
would be upon him who provoked him to the act. 
The blessings and cursings of devotees are serious mat- 
ters to a Hindoo ; the former are sought and the lat- 
ter avoided with all care. The highest sects of fa- 
queers or those who practise great austerities, are in 
general very proud ; they sometimes do not condescend 
even to speak to people engaged in the common duties 
and affairs of life. The latter are in their estima- 
tion too low to be taken notice of by them. Such, in 
fact, is the effect of their mistaken devotion. 


Household Customs. 

Family arrangements — Houses — Furniture — Meals — Manner 
of Eating — Dishes. 

Regarding families the patriarchal system of govern* 
ment, in a great measure, still prevails in India. When 

[ 116 ] 

daughters are married and are become of age, they 
of course go to live with the families of their 
husbands. When sons, however, settle in life, they do 
not leave the roof of their parents, but still live with 
them, and are under their direction and government, 
that is, so long as the father does not lose his senses 
though extreme age. In European countries, when 
sons are of age and settled in life, they carry on busi- 
ness on their own account ; but such is not the case 
in this part of the world. Here all that *sons earn is 
made over- to the father, who keeps the accounts of 
the household, that is, purchases food and raiment for 
the members of the family, and manages all things that 
concern them. He is the head ; and his sons and 
daughters in law and grand-children are under his gov- 
ernment, and he sees that all live with comfort. Some- 
times it happens that when a man has two or more 
sons, one of them is dissatisfied with some arrange- 
ment, and he parts from the others so far as to eat 
separate ; then he carries on business on his own ac- 
count ; he and his wife consult together about their 
own interests and do as they think proper. When a 
son does so, he does not remove to another place ; but 
lives in the same yard with the other members of his 
father's family. In this case, a son is not under the 
immediate controul of his father. In matters that 
Concern his wife and children and in affairs that are 
strictly private he is at liberty to do as he thinks 
best ; though he is generally willing to hear the ad- 
vice of his father when he has any to offer. 

As long as the sons are comparatively young and 
the father not too old, they all live and eat together 
and have all their interests common. But when the 
sons get to the meridian of life and the father becomes 
very old, dissatisfaction begins to prevail among them, 


[ 117 ] 

and they think of eating separately. They cease to 
have their interests common ; and parents join that 
son who is the kindest to them ; though others also 
help them from time to time. Sometimes they find 
it convenient to eat together ; but have expenses re- 
garding raiment and other things separate. Each 
son pays a certain portion of his earnings for own and 
his family's support. 

When the sons of a man separate from each other 
and from their parents, they do not part entirely from 
each other ; but most generally live in the same yard. 
Their place mostly consists of a square ; this square 
has rooms all around which are occupied by the dif- 
ferent families. While they thus live in one place, 
the father exercises a general government over them. 
If the sons of a man do not have separate concerns 
before their father's death, they do so after his de- 
cease ; the father may have, kept them together, but 
after his departure they fall out. But even after having 
their concerns separate they live all together in the 
same place. It is very seldom that a man leaves his 
brothers to live in another part of the town or village. 
They find it much more convenient to live together ; — 
they can help each other in time of sickness ; can 
defend each other if a disturbance takes place with the 
neighbours ; and when a brother is absent from home 
for any length of time, his family is un ier the immedi- 
ate protection of his brother^ or other male relations 
living in the same place. A male relation is always 
requisite to be at home (that is, not absent from the 
town) for the protection, and general management al- 
so, of the whole establishment. Women would much 
rather have a boy of even twelve years with them 
than be left alone. When a man has to part with his 
brothers to live in another part of the town or village 

[ "8 ] 

it is either through want of room or the quarrelsome 
temper of his wife or that of some other woman living in 
the place. But such a separation is very seldom re- 
sorted to. A group of relations living in a yard very 
often consists of five or six families, and these families 
of twenty or thirty members. 

Wealthy Hindoos living in large cities have great 
buildings made of stone and baked bricks. These 
building 8 are two or three stories high with rooms all 
around and an open court in the middle. The roofs 
of these houses are made in such a flat and smooth 
way that people can sleep on them at night in the hot 
season. There are no glass doors in these houses ; the 
doors are made of boards and when they are closed 
the rooms are quite dark. Some rooms that are in 
the interior of the building are dark even in the day 
time when the doors are open ; and when people have 
to do any thing there they use lights. In such dark 
rooms they keep their money, jewels,, and other valu- 
able things. The reason why these apartments are so 
dark is that there are no doors in the back part of the 
house ; — the principal gate and the doors of the rooms 
being in the front. 

Houses out in the country are made mostly of mud ; 
but they are strong and comfortable, — at least so ac- 
cording to the Hindoo idea of comfort. Houses in 
the country are mostly one story high, and their height 
is about six or eight feet. They have different kinds 
of roofs : some have tiles ; others are thatched ; and 
again others have roofs of mud ; — these latter have 
beams or pieces of timber clo3e to each other ; on 
them thin branches of certain shrubs are spread, and 
over these mud is thrown and pounded so as 
to make the ropf smooth ; it is then plaster- 

t 119 ] 

ed. * Same houses are two stories high, but the rooms 
aravery small. Wealthy landlords have comparatively 
larger houses that are often three stories high and have 
larger rooms. In all these houses, each room has only 
one door to go in and out, and that door is just high 
enough for a man to go in. Four or five more or houses 
are found in a little yard, laid out in the form of a 
square or triangle or circle with an open space in the 
middle, where the members of the different families 
(that are of course related to each other) sit and talk, 
and where cattle are kept in the cool of the day 
in the hot season. Each house has two or three 
small rooms ; one of these is exclusively used for the 
kitchen, and the others for sleeping and keeping 
things. Besides these rooms there is generally a kind 
of small verandah in the front of the house where 
they keep water and where women sit during the day. 
There is a room at the door or gate of the yard, where 
men sit whei they are not at work and where stran- 
gers and visitors are received. Strangers go into the 
yard, whenever there is any occasion for it, but not 
otherwise ; and when they go in it is never without 
permission, and always with some body that belongs to 
the place. 

As for furniture the Hindoos may be said io have 
none. They have no chairs and tables and chests nor 
any of those other things that are seen in the houses 
of Europeans. 

The only things that they have in their houses are 
boxes or round baskets with covers and locks to keep 
their clothes and jewels in, cooking utensils, the plates 

* This kind of roof is best suited to the hot season as it 
keeps the fierce hot winds out. It however makes a house 
oppressive in the rainy season, when the weather is sultry. 


t 1^0 ] 

and jugs out of which they eat and drink, and the 
bedsteads and beds on which they sleep. Even weal- 
thy Hindoos, who are possessed of hundreds of thou- 
sands of rupees, have no more than this. There may 
be perhaps found one in ten thousand, who keeps a 
! few rough chairs and an old ugly table in a corner of 

the house ; but we are speaking of the nation. In 
Calcutta the wealthy Hindoos have European furniture 
in their houses ; but this is not the case in the upper pro- 
vinces. A Hindoo is known to his neighbours to have 
wealth or to be in comfortable circumstances by the 
house he lives in, and the quality of the raiment that 
he and his family wear, by the jewels that the women 
of his family use, and the number of his cooking 
utensils and plates which are made of brass ; bat 
more especially by the last two, namely the jewels 
and the brass things. These things are valuable, and 
a thief would sooner break into the house of a 
rich Hindoo than a wealthy European, unless the lat- 
ter has a good deal of cash and plate in his house* 
From the house of the former, he could carry away 
brass pots, plates, jugs, and particularly jewels to the 
value of hundreds or even thousands of rupees ; but 
in the house of the latter, he would generally find 
only chairs, tables, book cases, chests, and other 
wooden things which would not be of the least possible 
use to him. Those Hindoos tfiat are extremely poor 
have earthen pots to cook in and have wooden dishes 
and a brass jug to eat and drink out of. Those that 
are in somewhat better circumstances have a few brass 
pots, plates, and jugs. 

The Hindoos have two meals in a day. The morn- 
ing meal is taken between eleven and twelve o'clock, 
and the evening two or three hours after candle-light. 
When they rise in the morning, they wash their faces ; 

[ 121 ] 

they daily make a toothbrush of a small, thin, and 
tender twig by bruising one of its ends with their 
teeth ; when the teeth are cleansed they split this 
twig, or datoon as it is called, into two, and scrape the 
tongue with one. After this they engage themselves 
in their various works, at which they are till about 
eleven. At this time they leave their work and bathe 
themselves. Wealthy and high-caste Hindoos, how- 
ever, leave work, bathe, (and worship) earlier. They 
have no bathing rooms in their houses ; if a river be 
near, they wash themselves in it ; if not, they do so at 
a well ; most of them draw the water themselves ; 
those that are wealthy hire others to do this for them. 
Such people who have got others to draw water for 
them generally bathe in their yard. After bathing 
and before eating they will not touch a person of a 
lower caste ; if they do, they believe they contract cere- 
monial uncleanness, and have to bathe again. After 
bathing they proceed to their morning meal ; before 
•eating they take off air their clothes except the dhotte 
or the piece that goes round the waist and answers 
the place of trousers. In fact, other pieces are very 
seldom put on after bathing. The coat, the cap, and 
the turban all are taken off and a man eats with his 
body and head uncovered. Shoes are of course left at 
the door of the house. Woollen stuffs, they believe, 
attach no ceremonial uncleanness, and these they use 
while eating and worshipping, though they get them 
washed by fullers— -members of an inferior caste. 
Thus in very cold weather while eatin§ they generally 
throw a blanket over them. At the time of worship 
also they take off all their clothes, including the cap 
or turban too, and for the same reason, and cover 
themselves with a blanket when it is cold. 

The place where they «at is called the Chaukd, which 


I 122 1 

is washed every morning ; it is part of the floor of 
the kitchen, which is the most sacred place in the 
Jiouse. The plates containing the food are put on this 
sacred floor ; placing the food anywhere else would 
pollute it and then it could not be eaten. All the 
food that is cooked is not placed in the chaukd at 
once, but only that quantity of it is brought out 
which is required. That woman of the family who is 
principal cook at the time or officiates in the kitchen 
helps the eater or eaters ; she sits near the fire place, 
to which the chaukd is attached. A Hindoo uses only 
one hand in eating ; and that is the right one ; the 
left hand he keeps stretched out at a distance from his 
food as it is believed to be unclean by being daily used 
in a certain ablution. The man sits with the whole 
weight of his body resting on his heels and feet, and 
sometimes also on his hips, in which case, he has a 
small, smooth, board under him ; his knees stick up 
close to his chest ; the joint of the left arm and hand 
rests upon the left knees, and it is thus the hand is 
supported while stretched out. People eat with their 
fingers ; knives and forks are not used ; — rthe food is 
vof such a kind that the fingers manage to carry it to 
the mouth ; and thus they can eat very conveniently 
with one hand. A Hindoo at the time of eating 
must not be touched by a man of an inferior caste ; 
if he were, he would immediately rise and not take 
Another mouthful even if he had to go without food 
the whole day ; he would .throw out even that which 
he would have in his mouth. He would never eat 
food that was prepared by a person of an inferior caste. 
However, no ceremonial uncleanness attaches to dry 
things such as flour and grain ; and none to fruit also ; 
such things a man of a higher caste will receive from 
*>ne .of a lower class. 

r 123 ] 

Hindoo women do not eat with men ; the religious 
laws and customs of the country forbid this ; they must 
wait till men have done. When the male members of 
a family leave the chaukd, the women take possession 
of it and are helped by the cook, who now helps her- 
self also. When any of them is a wife and her hus- 
band has eaten there, she sometimes takes the plate 
of her husband and eats out of it without cleaning 
it ; and if her husband has left any thing in it, she 
has no objection to eat of his leavings. 

After breakfast which is over between twelve and 
one o'clock all the male members of a family proceed to 
their labours. In the hot season those that can afford 
take in the morning and also during the day a sweet 
and cooling drink, called Shurbet ; some of them even 
take a slight repast before breakfast. The next meal 
they take between ten and eleven at night ; the women* 
even later as they have to eat after the men have done. 
All the men are present in the house one or two hours 
after candle light, and as the dinner is not ready at 
this time, they sit together and smoke, and talk about 
different things and thus amuse themselves. Hus- 
bandmen are, however, engaged the greater part of 
the evening in attending to their cattle. When din- 
ner is announced, the men proceed to the place where 
water is- kept, and wash their hands, feet, and faces ; 
and then with their heads and bodies bare, and 
hands and feet wet, walk to the chaukd, generally hav- 
ing with thsm their lotas or brass jugs full of water. 
While eating they talk as little as possible. After 
the men have done their dinner, they go out and smoke 
and talk. If it be the cold season they sit round a 
fire ; if the hot, they sit in the open air in the yard 
or at the door of the public room where there is, in 
general, a small platform adjoining the street. When 

[ 124 ] 

*he chaukd is vacated the women go into it and con- 
tinue eating till about twelve. When they have done, 
they rinse the plates out of which they have been eat- 
ing, and put away these and the pots in which they 
have cooked — all to be cleaned and scoured in the 
morning. After this~all retire for the night. 

The Hindoos have various dishes ; to describe all of 
them would require more space than we can afford. 
Their principal and most common articles of food are 
wheat with some other sorts of grain, and ddl ; this 
latter is the general name for different kinds of pulse. 
Soup is made of ddl, — much thicker than what Eu- 
ropeans have on their table ; this soup is also called 
ddl ; no spoon is required for it, but it can with pieces 
of cakes be carried to the mouth by the fingers. As 
a dish it is never eaten by itself by people who are in 
health : but always either with cakes or rice. Thin ddl 
is taken by itself by those that are sick. Thin round 
cakes of a diameter of about six inches are made of 
the flour of wheat and also of different other sorts of 
grain ; these cakes are made either with the palms 
of the hands or a small wooden roller with handles 
on a small, smooth round board, or a piece of stone 
of this size and shape. After being enlarged they are 
laid upon a round thin piece of iron which is over 
the fire place, first upon one side, then upon the 
other ; and when the moisture is removed and the 
cake gets sufficiently dry and stiff on the piece of iron 
it is laid upright on its margin opposite some embers, 
in the fire place being constantly turned, so that every 
part may be well baked and no part over done or 
burnt. A cake, from the time it is laid on the piece 
of iron to the time that it leaves the fire place quite 
done takes about three minutes, or about a minute and 
a half if it be very thin. Thick cakes are used by 

[ 125 ] 

the poor, and thin ones by the rich ; the former are 
made merely with the palms of the hands, and the 
latter, with the roller and the board, and are generally 
covered with clarified butter. 

With regard to ddl or pulse, there are five or six 
different kinds of it, called, moong, masoor, urhur, 
oord, mothee f and mutter or peas. The first ddl is the 
dearest and best, and is the one that is universally 
used by the sick ; it is of a very wholesome kind. 
Masoor and urhur are very heating ; the soup of the 
latter is generally taken by those who have caught 
cold. Oord is of a cooling nature, and most of it is 
used in the hot season ; this is the ddl with which heeng 
or assafostida is used as a seasoner ; the Hindoos think 
it quite insipid without this drug. The soup ddl is 
cooked with several spices ; a Hindoo thinks it very 
hard when he is obliged to dress it without them, and 
when he does so, he shews that he is very poor. Some 
of these spices are huldee or turmeric, (this is used to 
give the dish a yellow colour) ; dhania or coriander 
seed, pepper, garlic, and onions. These are the most 
common and used by the generality of. the poorer 
classes too. Garlic and onions are not eaten by some 
of the higher castes, because prohibited by their re- 
ligion ; but many people of the writers' caste have 
broken through this bond and use them freely, and 
others that do not use them find no fault with them. 
Aromatics, such as cloves, cardamoms, &c, are also 
used by those who can afford to do so. Ghee is used 
by the rich, and hurwd tel or sharp oil by the poor. 
Rotees or chapdtees (cakes) and ddl are the principal 
articles of food ; — these are the chief things upon 
which the masses live ; they are more common to Hin- 
doos than bread and cheese to Europeans ; a Hindoo 
can live on them for months without complaining or 

K K 

[ 126 ] 

thinking of any thing else ; — hence, when people speak 
of any one's being in comfortable circumstances, they 
say, rote ddl se hhush hai, that is — such a one is happy ; 
as he is in the possession of rotee and ddl. When people 
can help it, rotee is never is eaten by itself but always 
with ddl or some kind of vegetable. We have different 
sorts of vegetables in the country ; -all of them are 
eaten by Hindoos cooked with spices, They are* never 
eaten by themselves, but always with cakes or rice, 
except roasted potatoes, both sweet and the other 
kind ; but when the latter are eaten in a roasted state 
they do not form part of a meal. Those Hindoos, 
who hav3 seen Europeans eating vegetables boiled, 
wonder what pleasure they can find in them as they 
taste so very insipid ; salt, pepper, <fcc., cannot in their 
opinion improve the taste much. A Hindoo would 
never think of taking even a mouthful of a boiled 
cabbage or turnip or any other vegetable, unless he 
were at the point of starvation. They must dress 
their vegetables with spices and either ghee or oil. 

The round potato is not originally a vegetable of 
the country. When it was first introduced by some 
European, Hindoos hesitated to eat it, fearing, as it was 
brought from a foreign land, it might make them lose 
their religion ; but now it is extensively raised in cer- 
tain parts of the country and used by all classes ; it 
is, in fact, considered even here " the queen of ve- 

A great deal of rice is consumed in certain parts of 
the country. Europeans that have never visited 
Hindoostan, or who* have never been higher up than 
Bengal, entertain the notion that the whole nation 
lives on rice ; but this is not the case. The people 
of upper India would feel miserable were they obliged 

[ 127 1 

to live altogether on rice ; it is of a watery nature 
and not sufficiently strengthening for the hardworking 
classes. As Bengal is low and damp more of it is 
raised there than in any other part of the country. 
In the North Western Provinces it is dearer than 
wheat and other grains, and is used by the natives 
of these provinces occasionally, and chiefly at public 
dinners. The poorer part of the population use it 
once or twice a month ; the rich may have it ofbener, 
but seldom make an entire meal of it — they have 
cakes and other things with it. 

Fish is to be had in those places that are on and 
near rivers, great ponds and lakes. It is eaten cooked 
with spices. Meat also of different kinds is used by 
Hindoos but only sparingly and as a luxury. They eat 
the flesh of the goat, the sheep, the deer, the hare, 
the pigeon, and of some other animals. The flesh of 
the pig is eajben by the lower classes as a great luxury, 
and the wild boar, which is a species of the pig, al- 
most by all. 

There is an abundance of milk, curdled milk, sugar, 
and such other articles in the country, all of which 
are used in their dishes. We conclude this subject by 
saying, that the Hindoo dishes are various, mostly 
sweet, palatable, and prepared with great cleanliness. 

' l- L. t .^'. / f f/ • * ' f 


s - ... 


t 128. ] 


Social Intercourse. 

Entertainments — Civilities of Intercourse — Hospitality to- 
wards travellers — A peculiar mode of salutation of women — 
Costume of the nation. 

Like all other nations, the Hindoos also have public 
dinners. To these dinners relatives and only those 
friends are invited that are of the same caste 
with the inviter. These public dinners are given at a 
wedding, at the birth of child, (though poverty often 
prevents on this occasion) and at the death of a re- 
lation. Public dinners at a wedding and a few days 
after the death of a relation must be given. Excom- 
munication from caste is the punishment of a failure ; 
but the expenses of the dinner are regulated by the 
m circumstances of the man. There may be present at 
an entertainment one or two hundred persons — some- 
times more and at others less. The dishes that they 
generally have are rice, with some kind of sauce or 
soup, cakes fried in ghee (or oil if the party inviting 
be poor) with some vegetable or sweetmeat, curdled 
milk, sugar, and a few things more. At public din- 
ners the number of dishes is small ; the principal of 
these are rice and poorees (cakes fired in gJtee or oil) ; 
sometimes both of these are given, and at» others only 
one, depending upon the circumstances of the man 
that has invited ; the other things that we have just 
mentioned accompany these articles. Those that are 
wealthy have a few other dishes. A public dinner 
may cost from five rupees to a hundred. Of course 
all eat on the floor. The majority of Hindoo* have no 

t 129 ] 

such rooms in their houses that could contain one or 
two hundred persons at a dinner ; so if the season be 
the hot one, they eat in the open air in the. court \ or 
if the cold, in a verandah or under some thatch or tree 
which may be in the court. They sit in a long line, 
or in a circle if there be a great many of them, leaving 
an opening for people to pass in and out. At these - 
entertainments they have no earthen or brass plates, 
but a kind of large, round, and almost flat thing 
(pattree) made of leaves of a small tree called dliak 
( Butea frondosa) \ the leaves, which are pretty large, 
are joined together by small pins of stiff straw, and so 
put together that even the thinnest food they have 
cannot drop through them. They do not change their 
plates (pattrees) but the same plate does for every 
kind of food ; they have very small pattrees for curdled 
milk, sugar, and such things. As for something to 
drink water out of the higher castes bring with them 
their own brass lotas or jugs (which of course they 
take back) and the lower ones are supplied by the 
inviter with little earthen things just fresh from the 
potters ; these are left on the spot to be thrown away 
after dinner as useless. An earthen vessel after being 
once used for cooked food or water cannot be removed 
to another place for use ; by a removal it would be- 
come ceremonially unclean and not be fit for further 
use. They may have earthen vessels at home and use 
them for years ; but cannot remove them to another 
house, that is, if they have been used for food and 
water. Those vessels, in which water and food have 
not* been put, may be removed and used ; and also 
those in which oil and ghee have been kept. The pat- 
trees or the leaf plate are provided by the person that gives 
the dinner. After the people have washed their faces, 
hands, and feet (with water that is near them in large 
earthen vessels) and sat down, a person goes round and 

[ T30 J 

places a paitree before each man ; then others' go* 
round with rice or cakes and other things and put 
some in the plate of each man. When this is done 
they begin to eat ; after a few minutes people again 
go round and give them more as they require. Those 
that want things also ask for them. While eating 
they are also supplied with water. In a public dinner * 
that a Hindoo gives he discharges a duty, and if his 
friends were on some account to refuse to eat the 
dinner, he would consider himself in a very great 
trouble ; in the first place, all his food would go to' 
waste, and he would suffer a great loss ; in the next 
he would be under excommunication; and in the third, 
place when received back into his caste he would be* 
obliged to go to a second and probably greater expense 
in giving another dinner. Women are very seldom 
invited to public dinners ; and those that are so are 
very, nearly connected with the family. They do not 1 
of course sit with the men, but are with the women of 
the family. On this occasion they need not eat after 
the men have done, but can do so at the same time. 
At entertainments liquor is used by certain castes and. 
some people make themselves quite ill with it. After 
all have done eating, they rise and wash their hands 
and mouths. The pattrees are collected by a man of 
the lowest caste and thrown away; so are also the 
earthen mugs if there have been any. 

With regard to the civilities of intercourse, when 
two Hindoos see each other for the first time in the 
day, if both of them be Brahmins, they say to each 
other Namashkdr, or, I respectfully salute you. If one 
of them be a Brahmin, and the other of another caste, 
the latter says first, Pdldgan Mahdrdj,' that is / touch 
your feet or bow before you in respect, great Sir. The 
A eet are the lowest part of the body, and they are 

[ 151 ] 

touohed to show great humility and respect. When 
people perform this ceremony, they bow and first touch 
the feet and then their heads to shew that they respect 
those feet above their heads. People very often actu- 
ally fall down at the feet of Brahmins and worship 
them and Brahmins stand still with the greatest 
complacency and receive the worship. But most 
generally when a man salutes a Brahmin he does 
not bow and touch his feet but only says Pdld- 
g m ; the other returns this salutation by saying Aiahir- 
bdd, — I bless you ; or Jai ho, — may you be happy. If 
both persons belong to a different caste from that of 
the Brahmins', they say to each other Rdm, Rdm ; 
this is the name of one of their principal gods, and 
a blessing to each other is implied in its repitition. 
If they have met after a long time, each of them re- 
peats this name five or six times with an expression 
of great joy in their faces. If they be very intimate 
friends and have been separated long, they embrace 
.each other. 

When a Hindoo goes to pay a visit to a friend, he is 
received in the room which is at the entrance of the 
yard or court. Salutation being over, he is asked to 
sit down and treated with the Hookah. Different 
things are then talked about, such as business, money, 
fields, relations, some quarrel, and so forth, and smok- 
ing is also all the time going on. If the visit be a 
formal one, and both parties belong to a higher caste 
and have education and some wealth — the visitor is 
presented with pdn (betel leaf), utter, cardamoms, and 
lemonade or some other cooling drink, if it be the 
hot season. The utter is a very sweet smelling per- 
fume : two or three drops of it %re put upon the 
handkerchief or upon the coat. Cardamoms are taken 
into the mouth and chewed. If four or five persons 

[ 132 1 

be sitting and some of them be visitors, all of them 
do not speak at once ; one speaks at a time and the 
others hear. On other occasions when there are sever- 
al uneducated natives together and each is anxious to 
■say something, almost all of them speak out at once 
until silenced by some grave or elderly person among 
them or by somebody else/ Europeans have observed 
it and justly found fault with it. 

There is some hospitality among the Hindoos as weil 
*s among all other nations. When a friend arrives at 
the house of a man as a traveller he is saluted with 
great warmth and reiterated questions are put con- 
cerning his own and his family's health. This done, 
he is asked to smoke. Tobacco with fire is brought in 
a little earthen thing by the man of the house and is 
given to the guesl;, who has his own hookah ; (here he 
is supposed to be of another caste). After smoking 
.and talking about different things, such as absent re- 
lations and so forth, the guest thinks of cooking his 
food. As he is of another caste, he cannot eat with 
the family ; the host gives him either from his house 
or from the market the necessary articles, which are, 
flour, dal, salt, ghee, red pepper, and fuel. Turmeric, 
garlic, and other stuffs are not used by travellers on 
account of the trouble of pounding and bruising 
them. If the guest has his own utensils he uses them 
to cook in and eat out of, if not the host gets them for 
him. If the host belong to one of the lowest castes, and 
the guest to one of higher ones, he must not give him 
his own utensils, but must get them from some neigh- 
bour, who is of a better caste. When there is a well 
in the court, the guest cooks his food in a verandah be- 
longing to the house of the host ; but when there is 
none, he goes outside to some well and cooks by it ; this 
is for the sake of having water at hand ; he cannot use 

I 133 ] 

the water that the host has in his house. After dinner 
is over, the guest and host and other male members 
of the latter's family sit together, and smoke and talk 
to a late hour in the night. When they retire, the 
guest sleeps either in the public room, where men sit 
and visitors are received, or in a verandah. He leaves 
in the morning, and is expected to do so. 

When a host has a guest that is of the same caste 
with him and of the same subdivision, water is on his 
arrival given him to wash his hands, feet, and face ; 
and eats with the family. He is also expected to leave 
in the morning. When a guest is a near relation of 
the host great attention is paid him ; every body in 
the house tries to make him comfortable ; water is soon 
brought for him to wash himself; he has constantly 
fresh charges of tobacco ; and regarding food women 
do fop him all their best. However, the arrival of 
such a guest, if he be a # somewhat elderly man occa- 
sions some inconvenience to the women of the family, 
and especially to those whose husband are younger 
than the guest, because they cannot move about freely 
while he is there. But when the guest is young, the 
women carry on many a joke with him. The arrival 
of guests who are distant relations is not desirable to 
women ; partly because they may not be able to 
move about freely ; and partly because they have the 
trouble of cooking for him if he arrive at an unseason- 
able hour ; but another cause of great dissatisfaction 
is that the family has to feed him while he stays 
there ; — women perhaps feel more in parting with 
things than men ; however, if the guest be a distant 
relation, and not a particular friend of the family, his 
speedy departure is wished for by men as well as by 
women. There is a saying on this point current 
among people, — Bo din hi mahmdni, tisre din Id beimdni, 


[ 134 3 

which means, a guest is entitled to the rites of hospitality 
for two days : if lie remains with his host the third dap, 
he is dishonest 

The salutation of women towards a male relation 
coming from a distance is of a peculiar kind ; as soon ' 
as they see him, they throw their arms round his 
waist, having the head too there, their body being 
bent almost to a right angle ; after they thus take 
hold of him, they pretend to weep for the pleasure of 
seeing him after such a long time ; they make a noise 
as if they were weeping and manage to get some tears 
out of their eyes ; but sometimes they really weep 
when they see some near and dear relation after a 
lapse of years. While the woman is weeping, the man 
is speaking consolatory words to her, and after three 
or four minutes, while speaking, gently relieves him- 
self from her hold. 

We will now speak of the costume of the Hindoos* 
and begin from the top. The principal head-dress is 
the f agree or turban. It is a long, narrow, and thin 
piece of muslin and is wound round the head with 
great neatness and art. Adjusting it thus takes about 
half an hour or somewhat less and is not wound daily ; 
this would be too troublesome. Winding it pretty 
tight and neat answers for a fortnight or even a month. 
It is the most respectful of all the pieces that a Hin- 
doo wears, and for a man to appear with decorum and 
respect in public or before a superior in business 
absolutely necessary. A superior would take it as a 
great insult if his inferior were to go to him without a 
turban or some piece of cloth like it, wound about his 
head. The honor of a man is believed to consist in 
the turban, and when in a quarrel or scuffle a man's 
turban is thrown off his head it is said — his lumor lias 

[ 135 ] 

been taken away, or that he has been grossly insulted. 
When a man begs a superior for a thing of great im- 
portance extremely hard he takes off his turban and lays 
it at his feet ; this denotes great humility. People have 
turbans dyed of different colours. There is a class of 
men who adjust turbans for the head in a much neater, 
handsomer, and compacter way ; and those who attend 
courts and have much to do with Europeans generally 
get them adjusted by these men. Such a turban docs 
not get loose by frequent use ; but can be used for 
months, if the man only manages to keep it clean. 
The turban adjuster uses a needle and a little thread 
in the arrangement of the turban, but in such a way 
that the thread cannot be observed. His charge for 
this piece of work is never less than two annas and 
seldom more than eight, unless it be for a prince and 
such other great men in which there is a good deal of 
silver and gold lace used. A Turban is one of the 
presents that a servant gets from his master, or a 
relation from another relation. A person that receives 
a turban as a present sets more value upon it than 
he would upon money were it even thrice its worth. 
A fine muslin pagree costs about two rupees. 

Another piece for the head is the topee or cap ; it is 
a very light and round thing made of different stuffs, 
and just large enough to cover the crown of the 
head. It is worn by boys and those men who have no 
turbans'; and it is worn at home by those men too 
who use turbans when out. Young men proud of 
their youth and health and inclined to be vicious wear 
it on one side of their heads and generally of thin at- 
tractive stuffs. This is however peculiar to Mohonie- 
dans. People who use neither caps nor turbans tie 
round their head a piece of cloth about two or three 
yards long. Such a piece is mostly used by country- 

T 136 ] 

me*, and is called angauchhd, and when round the 
head, mooraithd, from moor, which means head. 

The next piece is the Angd or coat. It has long 
and loose sleeves, and skirts all around which reach 
down to the knees ; it has no buttons, but strings ; 
some have four and others six. The European coat 
is generally left unbuttoned ; but the strings of the 
Hindoo coat are always fastened. ' The former opens 
in front ; but the latter on the right side of the 
chest. The Mohomedan coat opens on the left, and 
this is enough to shew whether a person is a Hindoo 
or a Mohomedan without his sayiug so. Coats are 
made of different stuffs. In the hot season white ones 
are universally used ; but in the cold they are made 
of various sorts of chintz and are lined and also stuff- 
ed with cotton. A muslin coat may cost from half a 
mpee to five, and a warm one from one to twenty. 
On account of the climate two or three pieces are not 
generally worn one over the other ; one piece is quite 
sufficient ; however, some persons, though very few, 
wear under the coat another piece called the mirzai. 
The only difference between a coat and a mirzai is, 
that the latter has no skirts ; — it may be called a 
jacket. It is a much more convenient thing to the 
working classes by whom it is almost universally worn 
instead of the long coat. In summer the mirzai is 
made of various sorts of linen, and in winter of different 
kinds of chintz with lining and cotton. Besides these 
two, there is still another piece for the body worn only 
by some people and called the fatooee ; this differs 
from a mirzai in having no sleeves ; it may be called a 
a ivaistcoat. 

Another piece of a Hindoo's dress is the dhotee ; it 
answers in place of pantaloons or trowsers. It is a 

[ 137 ] 

peice of Cotton cloth about five or six yards long and 
more than a yard broad. They wear it round their 
person pretty tight, and the higher classes not without 
a degree of grace. It extends from the waist to the 
knees and that of the higher classes much lower. 
When they purchase a dhoitee from a weaver, they 
give it to a fuller to bleach it. After this they do not 
get it washed by a dhobee (washerman), but clean it 
themselves. After it is bleached they dye it with a 
kind of reddish earth to prevent its appearing much 
soiled when worn. In former times only the higher 
classes used to dye with this earth, but now under the 
British Rule some sweepers also, who are with Euro- 
peans, do so and the former after complain of this : 
they believe the sweepers are holding their, heads now 
too high. Those Hindoos who work in Courts and 
othsr Government Offices as assistants in administering 
Justice, rnd is writers, have adopted the Mohomedau 
custom of wearing trousers while at work ; but at home 
they use the dhotee. Some Baniyas or merchants and 
a few others also wear loose or tight trousers of linen 
or chintz when out ; but at home use the dJwtee. 

Another thing is the Jcamarband or girdle, a piece 
about three or four yards long and half broad, tied 
round the waist for the sake of activity and a degree 
of strength. It is in some respects for the same pur- 
pose as the belt of Europeans. When a man wants 
to work very hard or walk very fast he generally wraps 
this piece round his waist pretty tight ; hence the ex- 
pression hamar bdndhnd (to girdle) means to address 
one's self resolutely to do a thing. It is absolutety 
necessary to be round the waist when a Hindoo would 
appear in full dress. Kamarbands are often dyed of 
various colours. When a master wishes to make his ser- 
vant a fine present, he generally gives him the princi- 

L L 

t 138 ] 

pal pieces of dress that we have mentioned ; namely 
a turban, a coat, a dhotee (or a pair of trousers), and 
a kamarband ; and they are highly valued. The 
saying among people to whom such presents are made 
is, that they value a present of clothes more than a 
present of money, because the latter would be used 
up soon, but the former would be kept long and tjie 
donor remembered with gratitude. There is of course 
truth in this. 

Last of all come the shoes. They are made by one 
of the lowest classes, and are of various kinds and 
different values. The kind that is worn by poor 
countrymen is very coarse and costs about a shilling 
a pair ; but is strong and will last several months. 
Those worn by the educated classes living in cities are 
of different colours, as red, green, yellow, &c, and are 
light and handsome ; the top of some of them is in- 
terwoven with silver and gold thread, and the upper 
part of some is made of wollen cloth of red, green, or 
yellow colour. A shoe is an unholy thing, and to be 
beaten with a shoe is one of the greatest indignities 
that could befal a Hindoo. In quarrels and slight 
affrays people of the lower classes often beat each 
other with this unholy thing. 

There is a kind of wooden shoes used by some 
people in the rainy season when the streets are full 
of water and mud, and leather shoes are not of much 
service. The upper part of these shoes consist of 
leather straps, with which they are attached to the 
feet. The wooden shoes used by religious Brahmins 
have no leather straps. These shoes are lised by such 
Brahmins after bathing and before worship in all sea- 
sons. Leather is unholy ; and if this article were to 
come in contact with their bodies after bathing, they 

t 139 1 

would be polluded, and poojii could not be performed ; 
they use these wooden shoes therefore without leather. 
There is a little wooden pin with a round head in the 
front part of the shoe ; the foot keeps hold of the 
shoe with its two biggest toe3, keeping the pin between 
them. People walk pretty fast with these shoes 
and suffer no inconvenience. 


Social Intercourse, — Continued. 

Practice of Medicine — Decision of cases by arbitration- 
Diversions and Amusements. 

The practice of medicine among the Hindoos is very 
poor, and superstition has a great deal to do with it. 
Most of the works that treat of this subject are in 
Sanscrit and are believed to be inspired, and form 
therefore a part of their sacred Scriptures. Such be- 
ing the case, improvement in the art is never dreamt 
of, and this is the reason that their practice is the 
same that it was thousands of years ago. They do 
not possess the least knowledge of physiology and 
surgery. A few books on the healing art are in Hin- 
dee, the common language of the Hindoos of Northern 
India, and some people that belong to castes lower 
than that of the Brahmins study these books and 
practise the art. It must be confessed that sometimes 
very wonderful cures are performed by them. Diseases 
that have baffied all the skill of regularly educated 
European physicians have yielded to the treatment of 
these self-constituted doctors. Some them practise 
the art through mere benevolence and do not charge 

[ 140 ] 

their patients for their trouble ; but on the contrary 
often give them medicine gratis when they have it 
ready by them. Once a native cured a European of 
an asthma of three or four years standing by giving 
him a few black sweet pills. The latter begged him 
to take something as a reward for this astonishing 
cure, but the man would not listen to such a thing, 
nor would he tell of what ingredients the medicine 
was composed. After this cure the European enjoyed 
good health for about twenty five years. The asthma 
however returned a few months before his death, 
which was perhaps from debility of constitution as he 
was quite an old man, and the saying is common, that 
old age is the rendezvous of diseases. Old age, asth- 
ma, and other diseases at last carried him off. When 
the native first offered to cure the European, he laugh- 
ed at him ; but soon experienced the benefit of a trial. 
Opthalmia is common in the country, and native phy- 
sicians as well as old women and some others know 
some very good medicines for this complaint. In or- 
dinary cases these answer much better than the pres- 
criptions of European physicians. When a medicine 
is particularly efficious for a serious complaint, they 
do not like to tell of what it is composed and how it 
is made ; they believe it loses its efficacy if its ingre- i 
dients and the mode of its preparation are made 

The Hindoo way of treating is called misrdnee, and 
the Mohomedan manner, yundnee. There are some 
Hindoos of the higher castes, who after having studied 
the art in Persian and a little in Arabic, practise ac- 
cording to the Mohomedan way. They are called Ha- \ 
keems or Tabeebs. Those who treat according to the 
Hindoo mode are called Baidfo. There is a vast dif- 
ference between the two systems. The Mohomedan 

[ 1« 1 

medicines are generally cooling; and the Hindoo 
mostly of a heating nature. In both, patients have 
to take pretty large doses to be benefited. 

Most of those physicians who depend for their liv- 
ing on the art find it a sorry profession, as they do not 
in general meet with a fair remuneration. When they 
are called to see a patient, they cannot settle before 
hand what they will take for their trouble as this 
would be extremely impolite. When the patient re- 
covers he gives them a trifle. Some patients, who 
call at physician's houses for aid, give them nothing. 
Physicians complain that they always avoid appearing 
before them, lest they should be reminded of the 
obligation. This dishonest treatment has tended to 
make physicians mean and led them to unfair ways of 
remunerating themselves. Sometimes when a physi- 
cian goes to see a rich patient, he happens to cast hi* 
eyes on some pretty thing that may be about him, 
as for instance, a hookah, or a pretty rug, or some such 
thing. " Oh ! this is a beautiful thing", says he, 
" where did you get it V? " I got it from such a place 
or such a man," replies the patjent. " I should like 
to have one myself," rejoins the physician. " You 
can take this one if it suit you ;" says the patient 
through mere politeness, not meaning that he should 
really take it. " Oh, you will be put to inconvenience 
by parting with it," says the Baidh or Hakeem, really 
glad in his heart at the offer, " Oh ! no," says the 
patient again through courtesy. On this the physician 
not willing to lose such an opportunity calls out to his 
servant, who is always with him, to take it up. Those 
who practise, according to the Mohomedan way write 
their prescriptions in Persian, and the Baidhs write 
in Hindee. These prescriptions are taken to those 
who sell ingredients for medicines. Mohomedans 


[ 142 ] 

who sell these drugs and ingredients are called 
Attars ; they also sell rose water and various 
sorts of juices. Hindoos who deal in these article 
are called Pamdrees ; besides these ingredients they 
sell all sorts of spices, such as cinnam6n, cloves, 
cardamoms, allspice, nutmegs, &c. These attars 
and pansarees know the names of all those things 
that are used for medicine and which are known to the 
most skillful physicians themselves. These drugs, &c, 
amount to several hundreds and are brought from 
every part of the vast country of India, and also from 
neighbouring lands, such as Arabia, Persia, and so 
forth. They have the same things of different quali- 
ties and frequently give inferior stuffs, unless the pur- 
chaser or physician has a good knowledge of them 
-himself. The trade of these men as well as the pro- 
fession of physicians nourishes most in a time of gene- 
ral sickness, especially if it be long continued. Drug- 
gists are particularly exorbitant then, and many phy- 
sicians are believed to be desirous of protracting their 
rich patients' illness as long as they conveniently can. 
Medicines that are simple in tljeir preparation are pre- 
pared by the patients themselves ; such in general are 
the medicines of the poorer classes. The medicines of 
the rich, which of course require a good deal of nicety, 
are prepared by the physicians ; and in such cases in 
the place of one rupee they charge five or six, besides 
the remuneration that they expect. 

Native physicians see their patients particularly in 
the morning to know their real state. When a person 
is taken with fever, they do not like to give medicine 
for its removal till it has risen as high as it can, 
and then brought down ; if it be checked before hand 
it will trouble longer and be very difficult to shake off. 
Allowing the fever to run its length they call paknd or 

[ 143 ] 

getting into full force. Starvation (Langhan) is one 
of their common means of curing their patients in 
cases of fever. Sick people are always fed on the soup 
of the mo<mg-ddl and khichree (a dish of rice and dal, mix- 
ed before cooking) ; and for some time after their re- 
covery, besides khichree, they have to live only on this 
dal and one or two thin cakes of. wheat flour. 

When a sick person is believed to be past recovery 
and is possessed of means he desires that som$ alms 
should be given to the Brahmins and the poor in his 
name. Those who possess riches and have their hearts 
ardently set on them, have them brought before them, 
gaze on them eagerly, and take their last leave of 
them with extreme pain and sorrow. 

The trial of cases by Panchdyat or arbitration is 
quite common among the Hindoos. Whan any thing is 
to be decided, a few friends of the party or parties con- 
cerned in the case meet together, and hear and investi- 
gate the matter and try to do justice. The lowest 
classes are very noisy on such occasions ; they always 
get a great quantity of liquor, and when it is drunk 
and heats them, the greatest disorder, as far as vocif- 
eration is concerned, prevails in the Panchayat^ which 
is held in a house, under a tree, or in the open air. 
The liquor is not however taken to excess before they 
have got through a good part of the case ; and the 
decision is almost always in accordance with the prin- 
ciples of justice. The higher and the middle classes 
conduct these courts quite respectfully and decently. 
Among the lowest classes the offending party is 
punished in different ways : sometimes he is thrashed 
with whips or beaten with a shoe ; at others he is 
fined ; (the fine being used to buy liquor or sweet- 
meats for the members of the arbitration ;) sometimes 

[ Ui ] 

he is excommunicated, which is called "hookah 
pjtnee bund," that is, his smoking and drinking water 
with his brethren is stopped. More serious cases that 
affect the public welfare are brought before the Magis- 
trate. Judges and Magistrates often get native juries 
to help them in the decision of cases ; and they some- 
times advise people to settle their quarrels by arbitra- 

WiA regard to diversions and amusements, the 
Hindoos are not behind any nation on the earth on 
this point. There are various ways in which they pa: s 
their leisure hours. Europeans have written on this 
subject, and we will therefore describe very briefly. 

There is a large class of jugglers all over the coun- 
try, some of whose tricks and deceptions are most 
astonishing. They swallow swords, pretend to swallow 
fire, and handle red hot burning chains, and %lso pre- 
tend to produce a small mangoe tree from a seed in the 
course of an hour or two. A friend of the Author's 
once saw a man of this class who pretended to take 
off his head. He offered to shew us the same ; (this 
friend is a heathen and has often had religious discus- 
sions with us, and meant to astonish us if we could 
not find out the trick) ; we said, we would see this 
feat on condition that he would allow us to bury his 
head after it was taken off ; to this, he thought, the 
man would not agree. Some of them, who are called 
nuts, among other feats dance on ropes ; walk on the 
same with the points of horns, — the horns tied to their 
feet ; run up poles thirty or forty feet high and there 
lie on their backs ; slide on ropes with their heads, — 
their feet being high in the air ; leap a few feet over 
high camels from the ground ; walk fast on their toes 
over a sheet stretched out at the four corners, without 

[ 1*5 ] 

letting the weight of their bodies fall on the sheet 
and tear it ; and throw up three iron spikes (with 
wooden handles) high in the air, lie down instantly on 
their backs, and receive the descending spikes (the 
iron part downward) about their thighs — one between 
the thighs and the other two on each side without 
hurting themselves ; the spikes strike into the ground, 
standing upright. 

There is a class of men who act as buffoons (Blidnds) 
and are called on certain occasions. Their perform- 
ances are amusing and entertaining ; but sometimes 
very gross and indecent. 

Women also go about in certain exhibitions. Some 
of them raise large weights with their eyelids, bring 
out scores of yards of thread and cotton of different 
colours, unentangled, from within a lump of cow dung ; 
and practise a good many other tricks. The youngest 
and handsomest of these women is called the Fool- 
matee, she is the principal person in the exhibition. 
There are some women who take hold of naked swords 
with their mouths, and tie little bells in different parts 
of their bodies, such as the elbows, knees, shoulders, 
and so forth, and also have two attached to their 
palms, and strike the bells in the different parts of 
the body with those in their hands with great rapidity 
without cutting their arms by the naked sword across 
their mouths ; the arms work above as well as below the 
sword in every direction with great rapidity, and the 
head also of course with the mouth and the sword is 
constantly turning this way and that ; yet they become 
so expert in this practice that the arms do not even 
touch the sword. 

People have also exhibition of puppets performed 


I 1*6 ] 

at night. The puppets are gaily dressed and brought 
from behind the scene by means of wire. The first 
few puppets that are brought out are servants of the 
great Akbar, Emperor of India. They are sweepers, 
<fcc, and come to prepare the place for a public audi- 
ence ; then come all the principal Nawabs and Rajahs 
of the country that were his cotemporaries and de- 
puties ; after which the great Emperor himself makes 
his appearance on an elephant. After the arrival of 
the Emperor, a dancing girl (puppet) is brought out, 
dances for some time in the fashion of the native dan- 
cing girls. When this is over a good many other pup- 
pets are produced on the stage, such as a Baniya with 
his bundle and a thief to steal it ; a washerman, wash- 
ing clothes in a river and a crocodile pulling him 
away, &c. The man behind the scene or curtain makes 
a whistling noise, which represents the puppets talking ; 
there is always a man in front of the scene, who ex- 
plains what is going on, and every now and then also 
speaks for the puppets. He sings and plays on 
an instrument too to divert the attention of the spec- 
tators while a puppet is preparing to come out, and al- 
so to prolong the performance. After the puppet ex- 
hibition is over one or two men generally dress chern- 
selves in the European manner as a gentleman and a 
lady and dance as Europeans do, and the former apes 
them in walking, talking Hindoostanee in their peculi- 
ar way, <fec. This is very droll and the whole quite 
amusing when performed well. The exhibition takes 
about three hours, and these people are paid from eight 
annas to two or three rupees per performance. The 
former sum is given by the poorer classes and the lat- 
ter by native and European gentlemen. • 

Animals also come in to afford the Hindoos amuse- 
ment. They take great delight in witnessing the fight- 

[ 147 ] . 

ing of cocks, quails, rams, and Idts, (a species of red- 
breasts). Some also go about with bears and mon- 
keys. When there are two bears, both of them 
wrestle with each other ; but when there is only 
one, the man wrestles with the bear, though he never 
provokes the beast beyond a certain degree, and always 
pretends or allows himself to be thrown down. The 
monkeys are in pairs, and represent a discontented 
wife and an unhappy husband, — and the male monkey 
also a beau, a man just setting out in search of a si- 
tuation, <fcc. He also plays on the khanjree (an instru- 
ment like one end of a small drum) with a peculiar and 
knowing motion of body, face and eyes, while playing. 
Snake charmers also go about with snakes in their baskets. 

Horsemanship, marksmanship, swordsmanship, and 
wrestling are also some of the ways by which they 
divert themselves. We need not speak particularly of 
each. A swordsman (pattebdz) keeps a shield in his 
left hand to defend himself. Native princes generally 
keep wrestlers in their service for their amusement, 
and some of them are indeed possessed of great phys- 
ical power. The game of chess, of which the Hindoos 
are said to be the inventors, forms one of their amuse- 
ments, and so does gambling. The latter is almost 
universal in the festival of Lamps spoken of before. 
They always recreate themselves also with songs — the 
great and engrossing subject of which- is Love, and that 
mostly between the husband and the wife. The speaker 
in these songs is almost always the wife, though the 
singer is the husband. At night when the duties of 
the day are over before and after the night meal they 
sing and play on the kfianjree, the instrument just 
mentioned, and also tell stories. 

But the greatest source of amusement and diversion 


[ H8 ] 

to a Hindoo are the dancing girls. They hare them 
at weddings and on most of their principal holidays. 
These dancing girls are of conrse of an irregular course 
of life, as no respectable women would appear thus 
before the public. They are all good looking and some 
of them are possessed of extraordinary beauty. Dan- 
4 cing girls are paid according to the' circumstances of 

\ the man who hires them and the celebrity in the 

neighbourhood or the country of the girl. This celeb- 
rity has reference to her beauty, fine voice, and move- 
ments in dancing. Native princes have this amuse- 
ment almost daily. Some of the Hindoos as well as- 
Mohomedans to acquire greater celebrity make them 
dance on extensive tables borne on the shoulders of 
bearer* or people of the caste called kahdrs. These girls 
sing also while dancing, and their songs are accompa- 
nied by musical instruments — they being always attend- 
ed by musicians. As we cannot describe these danc- 
ing girls and their nautch (dancing) so well as some 
European Authors, who have written on the subject, 
have done, we give one or two extracts from them. — 
11 The dancing girls who perform at private entertain- 
ments adopt their movements to the taste and charac- 
ter of those before whom they exhibit. Here, as in 
public, they are accompanied by musicians playing on 
instruments resembling the violin and guitar. Their 
dances require great attention from the dancers feet 
being hung with small bells, which act in concert with 
the music. Two girls usually perform at the same 
time ; their steps are not so mazy and active as ours, 
but much more interesting ; as the song, the music, 
and the motions of the dance combine to express love, 
hope, jealousy, despair, and the passions so well known 
to lovers, and very easy to be understood by those who 
are ignorant of other languages." * " In the East the 

* The Library of Entertaining Knowledge. — The Hindoos. Vol. 

I. U9 ] 

acknowledged object in view being to inflame the pas- 
sions, they (the dancing girls) proceed directly, and by 
the most obvious means to this end. The whole drama 
of love is represented. The dancer, discarding as 
unworthy of her art, the husk of passion, commences 
a series of attitudes and gestures, sometimes highly 
indelicate, and always too gross to be pleasing to a 
refined taste. She is the very personification of wan- 
ton delight, and as she follows with impassioned eager- 
ness the inflaming march of the music, suiting her 
indecorous postures to the suggestions of the notes, 
her whole frame quivers with desire, her eyes sparkle, 
her voice falters, and she exhibits every symptom of 
intense passion." * This last description is true to 
the life and no better could be given. The following 
description will answer for their dress and appearance. 
" Perfumes \ elegant and attractive attire, particularly 
of the head, -sweet scented flowers, intertwined with 
exquisite art about their beautiful hair multitudes of 
ornamental trinkets, adapted with infinite taste to the 
different parts of the body, a graceful carriage and 
measured step, indicating luxurious delight ; such are 
the allurements and charms which these enchanting 
sirens display to accomplish their seductive designs". 
" Mr. Cruso, who witnessed their performance at 
KMnpoor, speaks of a set of young dancing girls 
from Cashmere, of such surpassing beauty, grace, and 
jlegant accomplishments that he despaired of being 
able to convey by words any tolerable idea of 
fiem." t 

II. p. 91. quoted from Bishop Heber. 

* Library of Entertaining Knowledge. — The Hindoos. Vol. II. 
p. 90. quoted from Dubois' Description &c. 

f Ibid — P. 96. quoted from Dubois and " Oriental 

M M 

[ i» 3 

Hindoo Women. 

Desire for male issue — Destruction of female children — Early 
marriage — Education of girls — Character of Hindoo women — 
D ress — Ornaments — Beauty. 

Among the Hindoos there is a great desire for male 
children for the following reasons : — in the first place, 
they expect them to perpetuate their names ; secondly, 
they hope to be supported by them in old age ; and 
lastly they are pleased with the thought that there 
will be an increase of their nearer relations or of those 
who will be under their immediate paternal govern- 
ment. For these reasons that man is considered very 
highly favoured who has only boys in his family. 
Those objects are not accomplished by female children ; 
they have consequently no desire for daughters and 
girls are not valued like boys. A girl after being mar- 
ried and made over to her husband has no important 
connection with her father, but according to divine 
command becomes one with her husband and his fami- 
ly, and the children that she bears perpetuate the 
name of her husband and not of her father. The 
saying is common among the Hindoos that a daughter 
is parde ghar kee, that is, she belongs, even while living 
in her father's family, to the family of another person. 
Again, a Hindoo expects no support from a daughter ; 
in the first place, she may have no means to help him, 
or may not be allowed to do so by her husband ; and 
in the next, even if she be able, the father, among the 
'ligher and middle olasses, will not accept any support 
from her ; this is contrary to the Hindoo notion of 

propriety. If the father goes to the house of a mar- 
ried daughter even as a traveller, he will not eat any 
thing that belongs to her, but will get articles from 
the market at his own expense and cook for himself! 
He will not receive any thing from a daughter because 
she is a " weaker vessel" 

Rijpoots or people of the warriors' caste have a 
great dislike to female issue and have been in the habit 
of killing- their daughters some way or other at the 
time of their birth. The reason why these Rajpoots 
do not like to have female children is that according 
to their peculiar custom they have to be at a great 
expense in marrying their daughters ; the poorest must 
expend hundreds and the wealthiest thousands of ru- 
pees. The former never expect to be able to marry 
them on account of their poverty, and the latter 
would rather destroy their daughters than part with 
their wealth. * 

Speaking of the Hindoo doctrine of the transmigra- 
tion of souls. A European Writer says, " he," (that 
is, the European in India,) "sees in R4jasthan, a fa- 
ther smother his own daughter, in the hope that she 
will soon return to the earth, in a happier male form. 
Yet the father's heart does not beat less warmly in 
India than in Europe." t We do by no means believe 
that these Rajpoots are so good as this Writer thinks 
them to be. The true reason is the one that we have 
mentioned, namely, the dreaded expense. As for the 
happiness of the next birth, the Hindoos have no de- 


* The British Government has done its best to put a stop to 
this atrocious practice, and no Rajpoot can now kill his infant 
daughter with impunity, — that is when the crime is proved 
against him. 

t Count M. Bjornstjeroa's Theogony of the Hindoos, p. 66. 

[152 ]. 


finite notion, if any at all, about the transmigration of 
the souls of little children. Again we have no faith 
in k the assertion, that, " the father's heart does not 
beat .less warmly in India than in Europe." The heart 
of those Rajpoots who smother their daughters beats much , 
less warmly, nay very coldly. They smother their 
daughters not to make them happier in a supposed 
next birth, but to get rid of them. They treat their 
new. bom- female infants as lupaps . of clay, nay as in- 
jurious little things, and prove themselves as hard- 
hearted as infernal, spirits.. We are told by a higher 
authority that it is possible for people to be "without 
natural affection" and we. in India, know this also by 

But all the other castes in. every part of the coun- 
try take care of their daughters and bring them up 
with the same degree of temporal comfort (mental edu- 
cation excepted) with which they bring up their sons. 
They even go further and give them better clothing 
and more jewels ; and. as long as a girl is a virgin, she 
is,, in a measure, considered a sacred being. And 
though they believe their daughters destined to be 
connected to, and to live with other familiee, and do not 
expect any help from them, yet they love them. * 
The Hindoos believe that woman is made only for 
marriage and. thus almost from the very time that a 
girl is born they begin to think of her wedding ; in this 
they think her chief happiness consists, and from the 
time that a girl gets five or six years old they begin 
to make themselves very anxious about her nuptials. 
As. she grows up, talks, and understands a little about 
things, her ears are constantly assailed with the talk 

* We must however say that poor Brahmins and others, who 
have to pay a certain sum at the marriage of their daughters are 
not sorry when their daughters die before they are married. 

[ 153 ] 

of marriage. Constantly hearing of her own wedding 
and that of other children about her, her mind is full 
of this subject ; she is elated with the idea of being 
married soon ; and by hearing so much spoken of it, 
naturally thinks it is a state of the greatest happiness, 
and that there is no happiness but in it. A love for 
fine, dyed, and attractive raiment and jewels, is instill- 
ed into her mind at an early age, and her heart ex- 
pands with joy when she finds herself dressed in an 
attractive garment of deep red or rose, ornaments on 
her body and especially on all her toes, which are a 
kind of very small bells and tinkle as she walks. The 
sight of her dyed dress and the tinkling of her bells 
make her believe that she is at the summit of happiness. 

The chief education of a girl consists in learning to 
dress those dishes that are common among the 
Hindoos ; rough needle work ; behaving seemly in 
company ; playing on the drum ; learning some songs 
sung by women ; and sometimes also dancing. Wo- 
men of good character do not dance before men nor 
in public ; they learn to dance for their own amuse- 
ment, and do so at home among themselves, unobserved 
even by men of their own families ; the same also with 
regard to playing on the drum. They will sing 
before men ; but when they do so there are 
several of them together. A girl learns all these 
things while with her parents, and does not acquire 
them by oral instruction, but by the example of the 
women of her family and of her neighbourhood. By 
the time she is grown up and ready to be removed to 
her husband's family, she is generally an adept in 
theae things and takes an active part in all the plea- 
sure parties that come across her in new home, that 
is, parties composed of her near female relations. 
Though married at an early age (sometimes so early as 

[ 15* 1 

five or six year old) a girl is not removed to her hus- 
band's family at her marriage ; she is allowed to remain 
with her parents until she is of age. The time at 
which she is to be removed to her husband's home is 
fixed by the parents of the couple, and at this time the 
young man goes with some friends to his bride's home 
and brings her with him. When a girl is taken to her 
husband's family she is generally thirteen or fourteen 
years old. This removal is called gauna. Parents, 
especially those of the girl, are very anxious to have 
the gauna when a girl enters in her teens. People of 
the higher and wealthier classes have the gauna earlier, 
and in such cases a Hindoo girl is sometimes a mother 
at fourteen. Though a wife and a mother at this age, 
she keeps abou t her a degree of bashfulness for some 
years following ; this is the case especially among the 
higher and wealthier classes. When in company she 
always keeps her face veiled. Letting her face to be 
ever seen by men, except her husband when she is 
alone with him, is utterly out of the question ; but she 
will veil herself even in the presence of women with 
whom she is not familial'. If she has a child, she will 
take the necessary care of it, but will not fondle it in the 
presence of the elder women of her family. This 
bashfulness in a bride and a young wife is a very im- 
portant thing among the Hindoos ; it is part of the 
education she has received while with her parents ; 
and the want of it proves her shameless and coarse, and 
brings a disgrace upon her parents as having neglected 
to teach her manners. 

Among the Hindoos a girl receives no mental edu- 
cation ; she is not taught to read and write, because 
according to them this is unnecessary for her. All 
that they think necessary for a girl is to be able to 
attend to the kitchen and manage her household affairs 

t 155 ] 


with prudence and discretion. They have no idea 
that naturally women have as good minds as men, and 
that these minds require cultivation. We have heard 
of a certain respectable young man being much 
laughed at his friends for his having had the boldness 
to teach his wife to read and write. In the day time 
he and his wife could not be by themselves. They 
used to meet at night in their room after dinner. At 
this time he had the boldness to teach his wife to read 
and write Hindee, their mother tongue. The hour 
at which the Hindoos get through their afternoon 
meal is seldom before eleven ; the women finish theira 
between this hour and twelve ; so it must have been 
pretty late when they met in their room, tired and 
heavy with sleep. Such being the case, the young 
man and his wife both deserved credit ; the former for 
being willing to teach, and the latter for her desire to 
learn. In a few days, the wife was Able to read and 
write her language ; for some time the thing was not 
known ; but afterwards it came out, and then all 
their friends, both men and women, made a laughing 
stock of them ; — " What ! for a woman to read and 
write" ! " What a most foolish thing" ! " What's 
the use of it" ! <fcc. All their friends and relations 
came to know of it, and all had something to say at 
their expense. 

Having no mental education, the minds of the mass 
of the Hindoo women are extremely simple. Almost 
all their thoughts are confined to things that imme- 
diately concern them, such as food, clothing, jewels 
and ornaments, husbands, children, weddings, relations, 
acquaintances, neighbours, fields, trade, and so forth. 
When two or three of them meet, their talk always 
consists of these things, but especially of the first five 
or six. They are very talkative all over the country ; 


[ 156 ] 

ten men, being together, can keep silent for hours, but 
two women cannot ; and the more women the more talk. 
A great part of their conversation is about their own 
and their female friends' and neighbours' private cir- 
cumstances such as an expected increase of family <fco. 

Many of them have a disposition to backbite and 
quarrel ; there is however more of this in the lower 
classes. They speak very loud when they quarrel and 
abuse each other with most horrid names. When a 
women abuses another women, she wishes that she 
may become a widow, that is, helpless ; — that her 
children may die, <fec. And when she curses a man, 
she wishes or rather expresses the 010*86 by saying that 
his beard and whiskers maybe burnt up (darhee jar,) 
<fcc. Some of them, who are exceedingly ill natured, 
will continue to quarrel and call names for hours to- 

With regard to chastity, Hindoo women possess this 
quality in a high degree. As far as a sense of honour 
is concerned some of them prove themselves to be not 
a bit inferior to the celebrated Lucretia when they 
happen to be placed in similar circumstances. This 
is much in their favour when we remember the religion 
they profess. We cannot of course expect all Hindoo 
women to be chaste, and some of them are bad also. 
Before the British took possession of the country, an 
unfaithful wife used to be killed by her husband ; 
sometimes when she was not killed, her nose Was cut 
off and she ' was turned out. The husband was not 
punished for either of these acts by the law of the 
land. A Hindoo under the British Government is 
not allowed to kill his wife or cut off her nose, but 
unfaithful wives are often killed by their husbands. 

[ 1*7 ] 

in spite of the law, and husbands at last suffer 
death for this *crime, if they are caught and 
the act is proved against them. Young women 
married to old men oftener prove unfaithful One of 
the Hindoo books says ; — " As a woman, who is not 
with her husband, takes no pleasure in moon-shine, 
nor one who has been hurt by the sun, in the heat 
of the sun, so a young wife takes no delight in an old 
husband.'' Among the higher classes, and especially 
among Brahmins, girls are often married to old men 
for the sake of caste. Sometimes boys are not found 
suitable to girls according to their rules of caste and 
of Astrology ; such girls have to wait long, and at last 
have to be given to such old men, or at least to those, 
who have passed the meridian of life,^ as are consider- 
ed answerable to those rules. The poor girls have no 
choice and must take these men as their husbands. 
Keeping a girl unmarried would be a lasting disgrace 
to the parents. 

A full dress of women of upper India is one of the 
most decent, becoming, and graceful of female habits 
in the world. We cannot say this of the female dress 
of every part of India ; for instance, the dress of tho 
women of Bengal is very indecent and unbecoming. 
The dress of a women of upper India consists of three 
or four pieces, and gracefully conceals every part of 
her body. A large sheet goes over the other pieces, 
covers her body, neck, head, and face- too whenever 
necessary. This piece or sheet reaches half way down 
her petticoat in the front, but still lower behind. A 
woman can never go out of her room without this 
piece of linen ; during the day she must not be seen 
even by her husband without it. With other parts of 
her body (which are covered by other pieces besides) 
she must always have her bosom, her neck, and her 


[ 158 ] 

head well covered ; exposing any of them is gross in 
dency and great shamelessness. Jn some places of 
Northern India, women, instead of the petticoat and 
the sheet use a long and broad piece of linen, half of 
which serves them as a petticoat, and the other half 
as a sheet. This is, however, laid aside on extraordi- 
nary occasions for the full and more respectable dress 
just jnentioned. 

Hindoo women wear no shoes and simply because 
they cannot, on account of the little bells that are 
attached to their toes. They could perhaps use very 
large shoes notwithstanding the bells ; but then the 
bells would not sound, and thus wearing them (the 
bells) would be of no use. They would rather go bare 
foot than have no tinkling about their toes. To see a 
native lady in full dress, but without shoes, would 
seem barbarous to a foreigner from a Christian coun- 
try just fresh from his native land ; but to us, natives, 
there appears nothing unbecoming in this ; and be- 
sides her dress comes down so low, that the feet are 
seldom observed ; and if observed now and then, they 
do not look quite so bare on account of the rings 
round the ankles and the bells about the toes ; at 
least it appears so to us natives. However, as far as 
comfort is concerned, it would be much better were 
they to lay aside their bells and adopt the custom of 
wearing shoes. 

Wealthy and respectable women use various sorts 
of ornaments and jewels. They wear a little, 
round, shining thing on their foreheads, — it is about 
the size of a shilling ; and a large ring in the nose. 
They have also several rings round the ears, the neck, 
the arms, the wrists, the fingers, the ankles, and all 
the toes. All of these are silver and gold if the wo- 

t 159 1 

man be possessed of a good deal of wealth. Poorer 
women have them of brass and phool (another base 
metal), and the rings round their wrists are of glass — 
Coloured black, green, # or blue, and also of gum-lac. 
The jewels of a woman shew the wealth of her hus- 
band or the family with which she is connected ; and 
the Hindoos feel proud in giving these things to their 
wives and daughters. These women, who can have 
these ornaments, blacken the lower part of the eye 
with a powder called Soormd, which they believe im- 
proves their beauty ; this is only a dark line in the 
lower cover of the eye, and is plainly visible. This 
toormd possesses medicinal virtues also for the eye. 
Those who are too poor to use such a powder (which 
however is not costly) use fine lamp black ; which 
answers nearly as well. The lamp black (Kdjal) 
is universally used for little children ; even the eyes 
of those, who are only one or two days old, are black- 
ened with it ; this however is not for the sake of 
beauty, but to keep their eyes clean during the night. 
Were their eyes not blackened, they would have some 
matter in them, and could not be opened well in. the 
morning. There is some truth in this. The black is 
washed off in the morning. The oil of which this 
lamp black is made is produced out of a kind of 
mustard, called surson and is called the kurwd tally 
or sharp cil. It tastes and smells sharp ; a great deal 
of it is used by the poor in dressing some of their 
dishes. At a certain season of the year, women stain 
the nails of their fingers and toes, the soles of their 
feet and the palms of their bands red. They believe 
this also improves their beauty. The staining stuff is 
prepared by bruising fine, with a little water, the leaves 
of a bush called the Mehmdee, (very common in the 
country) and mixing one or two drugs with it. 
While the stuff is on their palms, they cannot of 

[ 160r ] 

course use their hands for any thing ; hence a saying ; 
— r" Kya hamare hath men mehendf jami hai" ? that 
is, What ! have I got mehendee on my palms ! This 
ia said, when one is threatened by another with beat- 
ing ; he means he can beat also — his hands are not 
rendered useless by mehendee on his palms. Their 
nails, <kc, are stained in about fifteen minutes when 
the stuff is thrown away. This colour wears off in » 

few days. 

Beauty is a dear and desirable thing with women in 
every country ; and those of Hindoostan are by no 
means void of it. There is no country in the world 
in which all women are beautiful, nor any in which all 
are ugly : beauty and ugliness are found every where ; 
and of course the same is the case in Hindoostan, 
There is much beauty among Hindoo women, and it id 
very generally found among the higher and wealthier 
classes. There is a diversity of complexion ; — that 
of some is brown ; of others light, and again of others 
fair. Their features are regular and pleasing, their 
persons beautifully symmetrical, and their movements 
graceful. These women are fairer and of a better 
complexion than others because they are not exposed 
to the sun nor have to labour, and have much better 
comforts. However all women of the lower classes 
are not ugly ; more than one third of them are pos- 
sessed of really handsome features, in which, we think 
the greater part of personal beauty consists ; because 
a women with the whitest complexion may be one of 
the plainest women in the world. There is more 
beauty among the women of the middle classes than 
among those who belong to the lowest orders, the fe- 
males of sweepers, the very lowest class, excepted. 
They are also better attired and have more trinkets 
and jewels about them. They help their own hus- 
bands and families in their particular trades and call- 

[ 161 ] 

ings and do not needlessly expose themselves to the 
public gaze. Though the women of some particular 
portions of the globe, such as Armenia, Circassia, 
Georgia, excell in personal elegance, yet Hindoo women, 
we believe, are as beautiful as those of most civilized 



Name of the husband never mentioned by hie wife. — Treatment 
of a Hindoo wife — Love between husband and wife — Hindoo 
women religious — Helplessness of Hindoo mothers when their 
children are sick — Barrenness a reproach — Daily household du- 
ties of a Hindoo wife — Grinding — Washing the kitchen, &c. 
— Drawing water — Scouring and cleaning cooking utensils, ^fcc.— 
Cooking — Hindoo widows. 

A Hindoo wife never mentions the name of her hus- 
band ; doing so would be an exceedingly great insult 
to him. When a wife has occasion to speak of her. 
husband and has a child, she speaks of him through 
that child's name, — as such a one's father says so and 
so, or does so and so. If she has no child, she speaks 
of him by saying " way" the respectful term for the 
English pronoun he (the word in itself meaning they) ; 
and she also says hamdray, that is mine, (literally 
ours. When hamdray is used, the term for husband 
is understood ; to express the word would be too 
coarse. Sometimes when she uses a noun after hamd- 
ray she says, hamdray ddmee, that is, my man* In 
like manner, the husband never mentions the wife's 
name ; but speaks of her through that of one of hia 
children. Sometimes he says ; — hamdray ghar kay 

N n 

t 162 ] 

logue, which literally means, — the people of my fami- 
ly, — generally 'meaning only the wife. In calling 
each other, they say, O such a one's father, or, such 
a one's mother ! When they have no child, they be- 
gin to speak to each other without the intervention of 
any name, — the tone of the voice attracting the at- 
tention of the party addressed if he or she be at a dis- 
tance. Friends and neighbours also do not mention a 
woman's name, but speak of her through that of her 
husband and sometimes of one of her children. 

With regard to the treatment that a wife receives 
from her husband, it depends pretty much on 
the natural disposition of the husband. Though a 
woman is believed to be an inferior being, and has nu- 
merous disadvantages — social, mental, and religious, 
yet on this account every wife is not necessarily ill 
treated, by her husband in every day life. If a man 
is naturally of a mild disposition, he treats his wife 
kindly ; if he is of a fiery temper, he beats or scolds 
her frequently. If a person is neither particularly 
mild nor furious he treats his wife sometimes kindly 
and at others roughly according to the humour he is, 
in. Educated husbands treat their wives with a more 
uniform kindness ; the majority of these are found in 
the brahmins', warriors', merchants', and writers' castes. 
Husbands support their wives according to their 
means ; and the women of the wealthy classes are 
maintained with all that comfort (acoording to the 
Hindoo notion) which wealth can afford. This com- 
fort consists in freedom from drudgery, in the posses- 
eion of jewels, fine clothing, delicate food, and re- 
maining inside the-house. The women of the middle 
classes, very generally, and of the lowest, always, assist 
their husbands in their occupations, and are fed and 
clothed comfortably. Drunkenness is not so common 
in Hindoostan as in some European countries, and 

[ 163 1 

we very seldom hear of people (Hindoos) being ruined 
on this account. There are a few habitual drunkards, 
and they are mostly found among the lowest classes : 
these men, however, are quite sober at work time, and 
get drunk only when they think they have time to 
spare ; and then they do not expend all their money 
in liquor, but the greater part of it they use for the 
support of their families. Brahmins and people of 
the warriors' caste never taste liquor ; they are posi- 
tively forbidden by their sacred writings to do .so. 
People of the writers' caste drink, but seldom to ex- 
cess. So we can say, liquor is very seldom the cause 
of a Hindoo woman's suffering i. And on the whole 
husbands are very faithful in supporting their wive3 
according to their circumstances. 

Singular as the Hindoo doctrine regarding women 
is, and strange as the fact may sound to European 
ears, we cannot deny the truth, that there is a sort of 
love between the Hindoo wife and her husband. This 
is seen in the husband's anxiety to support his wife 
and make her as comfortable as he can ; and in the 
wife's efforts to manage her household affairs with 
prudence and make her home attractive and comfort- 
able to her husband, and also in hor anxiety when the 
least thing troubles him in body or mind. Though a 
husband believes his wife to be an inferior being, yet 
he does not look upon hsr in the light of a slave or 
servant. On the contrary, he habitually maintains 
the belief that there is a sort of equality between 
himself and his wife ; and all that he possesses in this 
world, whether wealth or land or honour or any thing 
else, is supposed by him to belong to his wife also ; 
in fact, women possess all these things like men. In 
general, however, wives have more of real love to their 
husbands than husbands have to their wives. Besides 

[ 16* ] 

husbands after their death are still remembered with 
a degree of affection by their widows. We cannot 
however, say, whether widows would still remember 
their departed husbands with the same Jove were they 
universally allowed to marry again. All husbands can 
marry again when they lose their wives. As every 
where else, there are here also bad husbands and bad 
wives, and these of course do not love each other. 
This want of affection may arise from supposed or sus- 
pected conjugal infidelity in the wife, or a naturally bad 
temper in one party or both, or from some other cause. 

The grand duty of a wife in this world by which 
alone she can obtain happiness in a future state is ser- 
vice to her husband. This service consists in her entire 
obedience to his will and in her solicitude and efforts 
at home to make him comfortable. Hindoo religious 
writings require her to die with her husband ; this 
however, she is not allowed to do under the British 
Government. One of their sacred Books has the fol- 
lowing passages on this subject. — " A husband is the 

chief ornament of a wife though she have no other or- 
nament ; but though adorned, yet without him, she 

has no ornament. 1 ' "As many hairs as are in the 

human body, multiplied by a crore, and half a crore, 

so many years will she live in heaven, who dies with 

her husband." " As a charmer draws a serpent from 

his hole, thus a good wife taking her husband from a 

place of torture, enjoys happiness with him." " When 

a faithful wife hears her husband is dead in a distant 

country, she abandons life, and accompanies him/' 

" If she be bound in hell with the strongest chains, 

yet she takes him by the hand, and leads him to 

heaven by the force of her piety." * 

* Sir Wm. Jones's translation of the Rajneet, 

[ 165 1 

Though happiness to a wife in a future state is pro- 
mised on condition of her service to her husband, yet 
she has much more religion in her than this service ; 
in fact, we can say Hindoo women are among the most 
religious creatures in the world. Men in India are in 
general not even half so religious as women. The lat- 
ter are very particular to worship their gods and god- 
desses, but especially the latter ; and on days of sa- 
cred bathing never fail to bathe in the holy Ganges or 
any other river when it is practicable. However, all 
this religion is not practised with the hope of a future 
reward, but with an expectation of good in this world. 
They are also among the most fearful creatures on the 
face of the earth ; and a great part of their religion 
proceeds from fear. They worship gods and goddesses 
to remove the evils that they may be suffering, or 
which they fear are coming upon them ; these 
evils are sickness of themselves, their husbands 
and their children, the fear of approaching death, 
<fcc. Their greatest fears, however, are about their 
children. They will go to any expense and suffer 
any inconvenience and trouble for their sakes. When 
their children are very sick, they believe it is by the 
displeasure of some god or goddess or the influence of 
an evil spirit. They will use medicines, as far as they 
and their physicians know ; they will not, however, 
stop herej but perform many acts of worship and su- 
perstition for their recovery. When the sickness is. 
long continued or dangerous, they make vows to somq 
goddess to offer her a young kid if she should kindly 
cure the child. Should the child recover, they believq 
their prayers have been heard, and perform the vow t 
Priests frequently work upon the credulity of women ; 
and the latter are always ready to believe any story 
that the former may think profitable to invent. Wo- 
men are quite enthusiastic on this point, and though 

[ le6 ] 

' they are very obedient to their husbands in other 
respects, yet in this matter husbands are quite unable 
to govern them. Husbands often try to dissuade 
them from following every wind of doctrine, but can- 
not prevail upon them. They do not force them to 
desist. Of late, a god named Ilardeo, has begun to 
be worshipped in some part ; they believe he is peculiarly 
able to avert evil or deliver from it. He is wor- 
shipped most in the hot season when sickness of some 
kind or other generally prevails. At such a time, 
women of the middle and lower classes go out in com- 
panies to beg. One of them is armed with a shield 
and a sword and has a turban on her head, that is, 
over the sheet that covers her head ; and another 
has a drum. When they stop at the door of a house 
the women that has the drum beats it, and all of 
them sing. For some time they do not go into their 
houses, but live upon what they get by begging. They 
beg in the morning and afternoons, spend the middle 
of the day under a tree, and at night sleep under one 
or in the open air. After some days, when the sick- 
ness begins to leave the part of the country, they offer 
a sacrifice to the god of a he-goat or a young pig, and 
then return home. 

The case of a Hindoo mother with a seriously ill 
child is really very pitiful ; she is as full of anxiety as 
she can be. She has no good medical aid ; the majority 
of the native physicians are very ignorant and more 
so regarding the sickness of children. In their prac- 
tice they have a great deal of guess work. A Hindoo 
mother with a sick child derives very little aid from 
them ; and besides, while a child is only a few months 
old, the Hindoos do not give it any medicine internally 
at all, for fear it might injure it through their igno- 
rance of its real complaints. Having no aid upon 

[ 16? ] 

earth, she can look up to no one above, either for help* 
or support under trial, Very often, she has to pass 
many anxious days and sleepless nights in agony by 
the bed side of her child with no ray of comfort 
from any quarter. Mothers often take their sick chil- 
dren to their temples to oertain idols and there pray 
to them for their recovery. Hindoo women are exceed- 
ingly superstitious ; and this superstition leads them 
to do many things both for themselves and their chil- 
dren ; many of them keep amulets about their necks 
or arms to avert evil. Sick children as well as adults 
are sometimes weighed with grain, <fcc., and the latter 
is given away as alms ; this is for the recovery of health. 
Sometimes people in health are also weighed in the 
same manner to keep away sickness. 

Barrenness is a great reproach among Hindoo wo- 
men, and they use every means in the way of medi- 
cines, art of midwifery, and superstition, that they are 
told by old women will succeed in removing it. Some- 
times medicines and midwifery succeed, but oftener 
not. In quarrels, barren women are often reminded 
of their barrenness. 

The principal daily household duties of a Hindoo 
wife are grinding ; washing the floor of the room where 
they cook and eat; drawing water; cooking; and 
scouring cooking utensils, jugs, and plates. Some of 
those that are wealthy are exempt from most of these 
duties, but the majority perform them, 

In the East grinding corn peculiarly devolves upon 
women. They use hand-mills, which consist of two 
circular, flat, and tolerably thick pieces of stone. 
Grinding is a laborious and tedious work ; but they 
sing while at this duty and thus divert themselves. 


t 168 ) 

They begin this work as early as 4 a. ti. and some- 
times earlier when they have a great deal of grain to 
grind. At this early hour the sound of the mill is 
almost always heard in the families of the Hindoos. 
Those among the higher classes, who are well off in the 
world, hire others to grind for them. A quantity of 
grain equal to , about ten pounds in weight can be 
ground for a couple of pice. 

Women also daily wash that part of the ho\ise where 
they cook and eat. There are holydays, when the 
whole house, including both the floor and walls must 
undergo a general purification ; but the kitchen must 
be washed every day ; and until this is done, they 
cannot cook and eat there. This place contracts a 
ceremonial uncleanness by being used the preceding day, 
and this uncleanness must be removed before it can be 
made use of again. Cow-dung plays an important part 
in all such purifications. 

The next duty is draining water. Out in the coun- 
try, wells are generally dug outside the town or village ; 
they have no pumps attached to them, but the water 
is drawn up in an earthen pitcher by means of a rope ; 
the mouths of these wells are always circular and of 
various diamaters, most of them being about three cr 
four yards round ; some of them are pukka (having 
masonry work) with a platform abcut them. They have 
no pulleys at these wells. They attach a pitcher to 
one end of rope, and as they let it down into the well, 
they bend over the edge, and pull it up in that bend- 
ing posture. One of these pots that they let down 
can hold about six or seven quarts of water ; one 
would think it rather a dangerous work to bend over 
the edge of an open well and draw up such a weight ; 
but these women are strong and accustomed to the. 

[ 169 ] 

task and no accidents take place. What makes the 
work more dfficult is, that thev have to take care that 
the vessel, which is drawn up with a swinging motion, 
does not strike against the sides of the well, as the least 
stroke would dash it to pieces ; this is the reason that 
they have to bend so much to keep the vessel clear of the 
sides of the well. Sometimes one or two beams are 
thrown across the well near the edge, on which they 
rest one of their feet, and on that foot tha weight of 
their whole body as they pull up the vessel. Women 
of different castes must not touch each other's vessels. 
Very often there are found fifteen or twenty women 
assembled at a well and they have a great deal of 
miscellaneous talk at such a time ; friends see eacli 
other, and the stories of the village are circulated. 
The times for drawing water are the morning, and the 
afternoon about 4 p. m. Some of the women carry 
as many as three earthen vessels at a time, two on 
their head (one on top of another) and another under 
one arm either the right or left. In a family where 
there are both old and young women, this duty de- 
volves upon the latter ; and there is scarcely a family 
which has no young women in it. Families of the 
higher classes, who tave wealth, engage men or wo- 
men of the fishermen's caste to supply them with 
water. Women are not obliged to go out when there 
is a well in their own court-yard, but this is seldom 
the case, except in cities ; out in the country, where 
the manners and customs of the Hindoos are much 
more original, the majority of families are supplied 
from wells that are outside. 

Scouring and cleaning cooking utensils and plates 
and lotas (drinking vessels) is another daily duty that 
a Hindoo wife has to perform. Unless a family 
be extremely poor, all these pots, dishes, and lotas 

[ 170 ] 

are of brass and a metal that is a mixture of brass 
and one or two other metals ; and the wealthier a fami- 
ly, the larger is the number of these articles. They 
have no copper vessels to cook in. Almost the only 
iron utensils that the Hindoos have in their kitchens 
are a pan (to fry cakes, fish, and vegetables) a ladle 
and the round thing on which they bake cakes. They 
scrub these things well with ashes or sand once a day, 
and that is in the morning either before or after draw- 
ing water ; if there are three or four women in one 
family the labour is divided, and while some are draw- 
ing water, the others are scrubbing these things. As 
they finish their dinner late in the night, they only 
rinse them then and put them away. Those that are 
very poor cook in earthen pots, eat out of wooden 
dishes, and drink out of earthen mugs or brass lotas. 

The next duty that Hindoo women have to perform 
is cooking. The sorts of dishes among the Hindoos, 
as said before, are numerous ; but all these are not 
dressed every day. Animal food is very little used, and 
most of these are preparations of flour, clarified but- 
ter, spices, and a few other things. The Hindoo diet 
is simple and temperate, and people have been led to 
live on such a diet on account of the hot climate. 
Dressing dishes is a part of the education that a girl 
receives while with her parents ; and if she were un- 
able to cook when she comes to her husband, she would, 
in a great measure, be considered useless, — at least so 
long as she were not able ; and whenever such is 
-the case, her parents are blamed for having neglected 
to teach her this important duty. 

At the time of cooking, women of the higher classes 
do not have on them that dress which they wear the 
whole day. They put on a piece, which they wash them- 

[ 171 ] 

selves and keep for this very purpose. This piece may 
be seven or eight yards long, and about two yards 
broad. Half of this serves for the lower part of their 
person and the other half goes round the upper part, 
and also covers their head. They cover themselves 
with this piece with so much art that it answers every 
purpose of decency. Those women of the higher class- 
es, who cook, bathe daily. In the forenoon they gen- 
erally begin this work at nine o'clock, and in the eve- 
ning mostly at candle light or a little before. The food 
of a poor family can be ready in about an hour, and 
that of a wealthy one, supposing there are four or five 
dishes, in about two. The Hindoos, excepting one or 
two of the lowest classes, are very neat and cleanly in 
cooking their food. They keep the place where they 
cook very clean, and always wash their hands and ves- 
sels well. Cooking is not a laborious or a degrading 
work, — and women of the wealthy families also cook ; 
and they do so with pleasure. They are exempt from 
the drudgery of drawing and carrying water, washing 
the kitchen, scrubbing pots and dishes, and grinding 
corn ; but cooking is not like all these, and they per- 
form this duty themselves. There are some (though 
comparatively very few) who employ Brahmin women 
to cook for them ; but all the others do this them- 
selves ; and among these are women whose husbands 
are possessed of thousands of rupees. When a fami- 
ly is composed both of young and old women, the for- 
mer generally cooks. These old women are mothers, 
grand-mothers, or aunts of the young men of the fa- 
mily, and the young ones their wives. The lot of a 
young wife is very hard when her mother-in-law is ill- 
natured and cruel, and her husband is inclined to side 
with his mother, or at least is indifferent to her, that 
is, his wife's case ; — because then she has to work the 
hardest, aud is constantly persecuted by her mother- 

[ 172 ] 

in-law. Sometimes young women cannot agree about 
the division of labour and frequently quarrel, — more 
especially, if one or more of them be of a quarrelsome 
disposition, or idle ; then they have to part and eat 
separate. Such a separation, however, seldom takes 
place before the parents, the rulers of the household, 
are far advanced in life. When a disaffection of 
this kind disturbs the peace of all the couples of the 
domestic circle, the old people remain with that son 
whose wife is the kindest to them, 

A woman's period of temporal happiness ceases 
when she becomes a widow ; her state then is utterly 
helpless, unless she has a grown up son, or an affec- 
tionate brother, or some other kind near relation to sup- 
port her. If she has nobody to help her, she takes off 
all her ornaments, which were never off her person during 
her husband's life time ; but if she has a son or a brother 
to maintain her, she leaves two or three of them on 
her person to signify that she not utterly helpless. A 
widow does not wear fine or attractive clothes ; — this 
is to shew her bereaved state. Widows among the 
higher classes can never marry again. They might be 
be very young, and might never have lived with their 
husbands, still they can never be joined to other men ; 
the simple performance of the marriage ceremonies 
prevents this. As death cuts down both the old and 
the young, many boys of course who are married, die ; 
their wives may be six or seven years old ; these poor 
creatures are called widows, and have to pass their lives 
in misery ; from that time they have not the least 
prospect of happiness, and the world is to them quite, 
gloomy and dark. As might be expected many of 
them, when in the vigour of youth or womanhood, 
elope with men, who offer them temptations. Widows 
of the middle and lower classes can marry again, and 

[ 1" ] 

many of them who are in the prime of life, or those 
who have no means of support, avail themselves of 
this liberty. Some of them however who have friends 
to help them, refuse a second marriage — even though 
they are young and beautiful, and have inconsequence ad- 
vantageous offers. The reason of this refusal is the regard 
they have for the memory of their departed husbands. 

Some European writers speak of Hindoo wives be- 
ing treated as slaves : but this must be understood in 
a limited and comparative sense. When it is said 
that a wife is to serve her husband, nothing mean is 
attached to the term. The word sewd which means 
service is in common use among the Hindoos. A dis- 
ciple is said to serve his master ; parents their chil- 
dren ; children their old parents ; and people are said 
to serve animals as well as young trees. Most of tho 
slavery of their state may be said to be found in their 
not being educated ; in their being considered inferior 
to men in spiritual matters ; and in this also that 
sometimes some of them are beaten. Food and clo- 
thing they get according to the circumstances of their 
husbands ; in fact, in respect of clothing those who 
have means are attired better than their husbands and 
are also supplied with jewels and ornaments. It is 
true, they eat after the men have done ; but it must 
not be understood by this, that they have to starve. 
They are mistresses of their houses and can help 
themselves whenever they are disposed to do so during 
the day with any thing that may be at hand. With 
regard to work, they do not perform a bit more than 
what is their duty in their station of life. The 
majority of Hindoo wives will still cook, draw water, 
scour pots and dishes, clean their houses, and grind 
corn even in that happy period when they will have 
been educated and converted. All these household 


[ 17* ] 

duties are for their own and their families' comfort, and 
very proper and scriptural So it is not with regard 
to the work which they do that they can be called 
slaves ; nor yet on account of their submission and 
obedience to their husbands, because scripture enjoins 
no less. Education and Christianity are the two* 
great things that they need. The former would en- 
lighten their minds and make them more respected, 
and the latter raise them to a level with men in a 
spiritual point of view. 

Polygamy is not common among the Hindoos. We 
cannot call it common when we take into consideration 
the vast population of the country. Perhaps one in 
four or five thousand has more than one wife. Neither 
can we say that the poverty of the people is that which 
keeps them from it ; — because bankers and merchants, 
who are possessed of hundreds of thousands of rupees, 
have only one wife. There are some here and there, 
who have two women, a wife and a stranger ; but such 
people have generally a bad name among their more 
respectable friends and neighbours. Sometimes people 
have two lawful wives, when the first wife is barren 
and her husband is solicited to take a second wife for 
the sake of an heir. This second wife is taken with the 
consent and often even at the request of the first wife. 
Sometimes a Brahmin of high caste has several wives, 
which is simply on account of his high caste and the 
scarcity of males in his sect to answer for girls that 
belong to it. Rather than give his daughter to a man 
of an inferior sect, a Brahmin gives her to one who 
belongs to his own, though he has several wives alrea- 
dy. Such a husband is not obliged to support all his 
wives ; but most or even all of them live with their 
parents, and he visits each of them every now and 
then. Polygamy is common among the Mohoiuedans* 

[ 175 ] 



Nuptial ceremonies numerous — Age when a girl is marriage- 
able — Talk about espousals — Teeka* — Lagan — Wedding proces- 
sion — Ashed — Immediate wedding ceremonies — Gaund — The 
next day after marriage — The wedding procession returns — 
Shed, &c. removed. 

As the Hindoos have split themselves into various 
castes, so all their nuptial, natal, and funeral ceremo- 
nies also differ in some measure. To describe all of 
them would swell this work beyond due bounds, and 
besides, the description would be most uninteresting 
to the reader. We will therefore speak only of those 
rites and ceremonies that are more prominent, and 
even of these as briefly as we can. 

In the following description some usages are com- 
mon to all castes, and others confined only to the 
higher classes, especially to the two highest — those of 
the Brahmins and Chhattries ; — and the wealthier a 
family the more minute and particular is the obser- 

According to the Hindoo Shasters, a girl is marriage- 
able when she is seven years old ; but should circum- 
stances prevent, she can wait tell she is ten years of 
age. Among the Brahmins, there are some high sects 
who have to pay a certain sum to the parents of the 
bridegroom when their girls are married ; and when 
they have not the means of paying this sum, they 
have sometimes to wait till their daughters are about 
twenty years old. It is however, a great reproach and 

[ 176 ] 

the most serious source of anxiety to parents when 
their girls remain unmarried so long. 

When parents wish a daughter to be married, they 
call together their nearest relations living in the place, 
and request them to find out a boy that would suit 
their girl. After some consideration or inquiry one is 
mentioned, and a copy of his horoscope is called for 
and compared with that of the girl by the , family 
priest. If the priest finds the stars of the boy more 
powerful than those of the girl, he gives out that the 
marriage will be auspicious ; but if otherwise, he says 
so. Common people have no horoscopes, and priests. 
or astrologers (they are the same persons) pretend to. 
find out by their names whether their marriage will 
be happy or not. 

The first ceremony that takes place about a wedding 
is that of the Teekd, which is a mark on the forehead. 
A priest with the family barber, goes to the boy's 
house with a large brass dish, a whole piece of linen, 
some suits of clothes, a few rupees, some jewels, and 
a cocoanut. Those who have to pay a certain sum of 
money on account of the espousals, send one fourth of 
the amount at the time of the Teekd. When these 
people arrive there with these things, they are kindly 
received by the boy's father, who invites all his rela- 
tions and friends about the place to be present on the 
occasion. At this time the intended bridegroom and 
those who have brought the Teeka articles perform 
some worship. When this is over, a mark is put on 
the forehead of the bridegroom ; this is the commence- 
ment of the marriage affair. After the rite is per- 
formed, the bridegroom's father gives alms to the Brah- 
mins present, and baidslvas (little things of sugar) and 
balls of cocoanut to his relations and friends. The 


girl's people, after being respectfully entertained for a 
d#y or two, are sent off with presents of rupees and 
clothes. When they arrive at home, they report what 
they have done, and what they think of the family, 
bridegroom^ &c. Sometimes the homes of the bride 
and the bridegroom are at a good distance. 

Sometimes after the preceding ceremony and about 
a month or twenty days before the wedding, the bride's 
father calls for a priest for the Lagan, which is the 
Brahmin's writing on a piece of paper on what days 
the several ceremonies and the wedding are to take 
place, — a day being fixed for each. This paper has a 
duplicate, which is to be kept with the boy. When 
the Lagans are made out, same poqjii is performed ; 
after this one or two betel nuts, some turmeric, a little 
rice, and two pice are put with the Lagans, and they 
are tied with yellow thread. One of these Lagans, 
with a rupee and about five seers of barley is then sent 
by the family barber to the bridegroom's father. 
When the latter receives the Lagan, he calls for a priest 
to read it and then send3 an invitation to his relations 
and friends to come to the wedding. He now com- 
mences the ceremonies as directed in the paper. 

After their performance, which take several days, 
the marriage procession, consisting of a great many 
male relations and friends of the bridegroom, proceeds 
to the bride's house with the bridegroom. The distance 
may be short or long ; sometimes they have to go 
hundreds of miles. A good number of men is consid- 
ered absolutely necessary to go with the bridegroom 
for the sake of noise, pomp and display. For this 
reason, one man, at least, from every family that is 
any way related or connected with the family of the 
bridegroom must attend the procession ; because if 

[ 178 ] 

the family does not send a man, who may be called its 
representative, it would be dealt with in the sam» 
manner when it would have occasson to call for simi- 
lar help. The people of the procession are decently 
attired. Some of them are in Bahlees (conveyances 
drawn by bullocks) others on horseback, and others again 
on elephants, when they can afford them, and some are 
on foot. Weddings are always very expensive ; in 
fact, they are almost ruinous to some families, espe- 
cially to those who have to borrow money and have of 
course to pay a heavy interest for it. The . wealthiest 
expend thousands of rupees. The barat or procession 
has with it several men, who carry a drum, a trumpet, 
and some other instruments of this kind, and make 
now and then all the noise they can, more especially 
when they are passing through a bazaar, village, or 
town. These drummers and trumpeters are men of 
the lowest class. Those who can afford have one or 
two dancing girls with the procession, and fire works 
also, which are let off when the procession arrives at 
the bride's place, which is always in the night. Mus- 
kets are also fired ; — in short, they make all the noise 
and have all the display they can. 

When the bardt or procession approaches the bride's 
dwelling, a barber is sent to her friends with a rupee 
and some aipan (rice ground and mixed with turmeric) 
in an earthen pot. After the things are delivered, the 
barber is entertained with poorees and sweetmeats, 
and then sent back to the procession. When the ba 1 
rat comes very near the house, the father of the bride, 
with some of his relations and friends goes out to 
meet it. When it comes to his floor, the latter is 
plastered with cowdung, and some pooja is performed ; 
the father of the bride, then touches the feet of the 
bridegroom, for the sake of respect, puts a rolee 

[ 179 ] 

mark * on his forehead, and makes him presents accord- 
ing to his circumstances. These presents may con- 
sist of rupees, gold mohurs, valuable clothes, jewels, 
horses, elephants, palanquins, and so forth. After 
this a separate house or grove is pointed out to the 
barat, to which they retire, and there amuse them- 
selves with nautch (dancing girls) <fcc, till again 
wanted at the bride's place. The father or a brother 
of the bride afterwards goes to the barat and washes 
the feet of the bridegroom and generally of some rela- 
tions that have come with him, and also gives them 
sharbet, or water sweetened with sugar. Brahmins and 
Chhatries bring a Janeo also and put it on the bride- 
groom, and present a rupee at the time of doing so. 

Sometimes before this, a rude shed, called maraya> 
is set up in the middle of the court yard, under which 
the immediate wedding rites are performed. The shed 
has five props, and one of them, which is more impor- 
tant than the others, is in the centre. 

When an auspicious moment arrives for the wedding 
to take place, the bridegroom with his friends comes 
into the court yard, where the shed is set up, and is 
there received by the bride's father and respectfully 
seated, his feet being washed by the same person. 
After the performance of one or two very trifling cere- 
monies, he gets something to eat, over which the 
presiding priest first mutters something. After this 
the bride's father gives alms, and the priest burns 
incense ; then the former brings two pieces of linen 
coloured yellow ; with one of these the girl covers 
herself; and the other is joined to a piece of the 
bridegroom's. Then a Pandit touches the image Of 
the good Ganesh with a mauree (a plume made of palm 

* A mixture of powdered turmeric, rice, flour, &c. 

t ^0 ] 

leaf) and after this ties this mauree to the head of the 
bride. When this is done, the Pandit or Priest on 
the bridegroom's side, repeats the names of his father, 
grand-father, and great -grand-father, and blesses the 
bride and bridegroom ; this blessing is also pronounced 
by all present. The same is done by the bride's 
Pandit after repeating her ancestor's names. Both 
the Pandits receive a present at the time. After this 
the hand of the bride, with the performance of some 
more ceremonies, is put into the right hand of the 
bridegroom. At this moment some presents, consist- 
ing of rupees, cows &c, are made to the bride and 
bridegroom. Those who make presents, fast till they 
have done so. After this the upper garments of the 
bride and the bridegroom are joined with a knot, 
which is a most important and significant rite in the 
wedding ; then the bride is seated on the right of the 
bridegroom with her face to the east, after which the 
priest repeats the names of certain gods, namely Prij6- 
pat, fire, air, sun, water -god. Vishnoo, &c. At this 
point of the proceedings some pooja is performed and 
a pi esent for the priest is placed on the spot ; this 
present is given both by the bride and the bridegroom ; 
and the latter gives half of what the former does,— the 
lowest sum that they must give being a rupee and a 

Now the Pandit builds a small altar between the 
central post of the shed and the bride and the bride- 
groom, and after repeating the names of the Sun, fire, 
and some other gods, burns h: cense on it. In this in- 
cense pooja is porformed to all these gods and at the 
same time alms are given to Brahmins. After this 
the maternal uncle or some other male relation of the 
bride ^room covers the bride and the bridegroom with 
a sheet ; the bride's brother stands up with a small 

[ 181 ] 

basket full of paddy, throws some of it into the 
hands of the bridegroom ; and the latter into those 
of the bride, who puts them on a small stone slab 
placed before her ; then the bridegroom presents the 
bride's brother with a turban, a pair of shoes, and a 
suit of clothes. After this come3 the ceremony of the 
bhaunrees or rounds, which accomplishes the marriage 
tie. The father puts his daughter's hand into that of 
the bridegroom ; in this state, the bride and the bride- 
groom go round the fire, in which incense is burned, 
and the central post several times. At this moment, 
the priest divides the paddy on the slab into seven and 
fourteen parts, and says, these represent populated 
villages. For every heap, he gets two copper coins. 
When he has received them, the heaps are again mix- 
ed up. 

After this the bride's Pandit addresses the bride- 
groom in language as follows. " The bride says 
to you — ' If you live happy, keep me happy 
also ; if you be in trouble, I will be in trouble too ; 
you must support me, and must not leave me 
when I suffer. You must always keep me with 
you and pardon all my faults ; and your poojas, 
pilgrimages, fasting3, ihcense, and all other religious 
duties, you must not perform without me ; you must 
not defraud me regarding conjugal love ; you must 
have nothing to do with another woman while I live ; 
you must consult me in all that you do, and you must 
always tell me the truth. Vishnoo, fire, and the 
Brahmins are witnesses between you and me.' " To 
this the bridegroom replies. — " I will all my life time 
do just as the bride requires of me : But she also 
must make me some promises. She must go with me 
through suffering and trouble ; and must always be 
obedient to me ; she must never go to her father's 


[ 182 ] 

house, unless she is asked by him ; and when she sees 
another man in better circumstances or more beautiful 
than I am, she must not despise or slight me." To 
this the girl answers, — " I will all my life time do just 
as you require of me ; Yishnoo, fire, Brahmins, and 
all present are witnesses between us." After this the 
bridegroom takes some water in his hand, the Pandit 
repeats something, and the former sprinkles it on the 
bride's head ; then the bride and the bridegroom both 
bow before the Sun in worship. After this the bride- 
groom carries his hand over the right shoulder of the 
bride and touches her heart, and then puts some 
bundun (a coloured powder) on her mang or the line on 
her head, and puts his shoes on her feet, but imme- 
diately takes them off again. 

The marriage is now over, and the Pandits put a 
rolee mark on the foreheads of the bride and bride- 
groom, bless them, and take their dues. All other 
Brahmins also, who are present, receive something. 
Now the bride and the bridegroom, with their upper 
garments joined by a knot, go into the house, where 
. the bride's mother presents the latter with rupees 
and gold-mohurs ; the same is done by other ladies 
connected with the family. After this the bride and 
the bridegroom are made io eat a little curdled milk 
with batdshas. 

Though the marriage contract is rendered indissol- 
uble by the performance of the preceding ceremonies, 
yet another rite is necessary before the bride can go 
to the bridegroom's house to live there. Her going to 
live with her husband is called Gaund. If the girl be 
of age at the time of the wedding, the gauna* ceremo- 
nies are performed at once ; but if she be young, they 
are postponed till the third, fifth, seventh, or ninth 

[ 1M ] 

year ; a bridegroom cannot take away his bride ex- 
cept in these years. The gaund ceremonies are only 
two or three in number and very simple. The Hindoos 
use a small smooth board to sit on, called paid. In 
the gaund, the bride is made to sit on the paid of the 
bridegroom, and the latter on that of the bride ; then 
the married ladies put on the toes of the bride little 
tinkling bells, called bichchias, and also put on her a 
doputtah or sheet. ' These are called the ceremonies 
of the gaund. The bride is taken away in a Bahlee 
(a carriage drawn by two bullocks), if the distance be 
very long, or in a litter, if it be short. Those, who 
are very poor, walk ; but such have only a short dis- 
tance to go. At the time of being removed from her 
parent's family, it is customary for the young bride to 
cry an account of the separation. While she is crying, 
her parents, especially the mother and other women 
of the family, are speaking to her consoling words, 
such as, " you need not be uneasy, we will soon have 
you back to see us," &c ; and ask the bridegroom and 
his friends to be kind to her and keep her comfortable. 
Sometimes when she has to go a long distance, and 
cannot, in consequence, expect to see her parents 
and other relations very often, this crying is sincere 
but oftener, it is a mere custom that is observed. 
If she were not to cry, her parents and relations 
would say that she does not feel the separation and 
would consider her void of affection. 

Now to return to the wedding. After all the nup- 
tial rites are over, the bride goes in, and the bride- 
groom to the procession quarters. The next day the 
barat is invited to a meal of rice at about eight or 
nine in the night ; the morning meal is not so import- 
ant. When the barat comes to the door (of course 
with the bridegroom) the father of the latter gets a 

C "* J 

present from tbat of the bride ; this present may con- 
sist of rupees or gold-mohurs according to the circum- 
stdnces of the man. When the meal is over, the 
barat is sent over to its quarters. After being enter- 
tained one or two days more after the wedding, the 
barat proceeds to its home with the new couple. 
When they arrive in their town or village, they con- 
sult their \ ri ,*st ; if the time be auspicious, the new 
married young people go into the house ; but if not, 
they go into another dwelling until a good time arrives. 
As soon as an auspicious moment offers itself, the bride 
and the bridegroom- are both seated in a palanquin 
and brought to the door of the house, the married 
women singing nuptial songs at the time. When they 
arrive at the door, barley and paddy are waived over 
the new pair to remove any unseen evil that may be 
threatening them ; they go in now, and after they have 
performed some poqpt, their knot, which was tied be- 
fore they entered the house, is loosened. 

On an auspicious day, the shed is taken up, and the 
straw, <fec., are carried by a woman of the barber caste 
in a basket to a field outside the village, and there 
left ; women follow her singing, both when she goes 
and returns. The same is done to the shed at the 
bride's house. After a week or so, when an "auspicious 
time offers itself, the bride returns to her parents, 
with whom she lives till the time of the gaumi. This 
takes place soonar or later according to the age of the 
bride as we have just said. When the bride has, after 
the gauna, lived with her husband's family for some 
months or a year, she again visits her parents and 
lives with them for some months. Her leaving her 
parents for the second time is called Raund and this 
also is attended with some ceremony. She continues 
to live atternately with her husband's family and her 

[ 185 ] 

parents for some years. These frequent visits are 
however prevented when the distance between the 
homes of the two parties is very .great, or when her 
parents are in straitened circumstances, or when there 
are not several women in the family and her cares and 
household duties require her presence at home. When 
none of these causes operate, the bride continues to 
see her parents every now and then, till she becomes 
a mother of several children, and the care of these 
children, and the declining years of the people of the 
house leave her no time go over to her parents often. 

Such are the nuptial ceremonies of the Hindoos, 
with which we have been trying the patience of the 



A woman in the family -way for the first time — What they 
do when a child is born — Chhattee, or the ceremony of the sixth 
day — Dathaun, or the rite of the tenth or eleventh day — The 
same of- the sixth month — Ceremony of shaving the child — 
Funeral rites — People near death — What done on a person's 
death — The man that sets fire to the funeral pile — What done 
by his relations — The eleventh day after death — Marriage of a 
pair of calves — Balls made for the deceased — Dinners given to 
Brahmins— Shaving — A lamp lighted and left in a fiekU-Sr&lh — 
Offering of balls at a place called Gay& 

When a woman is in the fifth or seventh month of 
her pregnancy for the first time, a place is consecrated 
and Ganesh is worshipped there ; then a cocoanut, a 
betelnut, and some batishas are put into the lap of 

P p 

[ 186 ] 

the woman. This is to congratulate her for the ap- 
proaching period when she is to become a mother. 

When a woman thinks that the time of her confine- 
ment has arrived, a midwife is, of course, sent for to* 
attend her. These midwives are women of the lowest 
class but one. Women of the family are also about 
her to give her any assistance that may be necessary. 
WTien a child is born, particular rejoicing is made if 
it be a son ; the parents are on this account, 
congratulated by their friends, and women sing" songs 
suitable to the occasion, beating a drum at the same 
time. They do not rejoice so much at the birth of a 
girl ; they do not however neglect her, but take all 
the care of her that they would of a boy, and women* 
also sing with the drum. The Hindoos never clothe 
a new born child till the-eixth day, but after bathing 
it, cover it with a piece of linen. The woman who 
has been confined drinks a preparation of ghee or oil 
and some spices for a few days, to strengthen her, and 
for the same purpose, gets the midwife to anoint and 
rub her body with oil for some days. Superstitions 
are also practised to keep away evil. 

Very soon after the birth of a child, the family 
priest or astrologer (which is the same person) is called 
for, who by his art pretends to tell, without seeing 
either the child or its mother, the complexion and 
make of the former, and. any marks that it may have 
on its body, and also the general condition at the time, 
of the latter. He also pretends to tell, what things 
and what kind of things are in the room, where the 
woman has been confined. He then professes to fore- 
tell how much happiness and misery will fall to the 
share of the child through life, and when it is likely 
to die. After this Ganesh and the planets are wor- 

[ 187 ] 

shipped, and the astrologer and other Brahmins get 
money and batashas after they have put a mark on 
their forehead. Presents of money are also made to 
some other people. On the third day, the woman 
come3 out into the yard with the child in her lap, with 
her face towards the Sun, drops a few barley grains 
from her hand, presents her worship to the Sun, and 
then goes in again. On the sixth day, they have 
what is called the chhaltee ; it means fche ceremony of 
the sixth day, and is mo3t important. A younger bro- 
ther of the woman's husband puts an arrow in her 
hand, and with the child in her lap and the arrow in 
her hand, brings her out into tha yard; but shortly 
after takes her back into the room in the same way ; 
the arrow is then shot inside the house towards the 
roof by the man, who gets a present of money and 
jewels. Tho3e, who can eat with the family, are en- 
tertained,, and all the paople rejoice. Women sing 
with, the use of the drum and also dance among them- 
Belves. For the last five days, the woman has been 
unclean, and except the women who attended her no 
one has touched her ; but now she bathes and is puri- 
fied ; and from this- day she can go out of her room. 
At night the ladies of the family make a doll of mud, 
fix it against the wall, and worship it ; then some 
things are put on the person of the child, such as 
clothes, rings on its wrist3 and ancle3, and a line round 
its waist, if it be a boy. A certain god is believed to 
come on this day and write the child's fortune on its 
forehead. On the tenth or eleventh day they have the 
dathaun. The priest consecrates a place, worships 
Ganesh and the planets, burns incense, and then names 
the child according to the planet under which it was 
born. Then the priest and other Brahmins get some 
presents, and these with the relations and friends of 
the family are entertained with food. On the twenty 

[ 188 ] 

seventh day, which has some thing to do with an ar- 
rangement in the heavenly bodies, they get water from 
twenty seven wells, and leaves of twenty seven dif- 
ferent kinds, are put into a small earthen jug of twen- 
ty seven tubes, which the potter makes for them on 
purpose. After this, incense is burned ; when this is 
over, the following ceremony is performed. An awning 
is made with a blanket, under which the parents are 
made to sit with the child ; the water of the earthen 
jug is then poured on the top of the blanket, passing 
through which, it falls on them. When the water has 
been all poured, they come out, bathe in separate places, 
and change their clothes. After this some more cere- 
monies are performed, which we need not describe. 

In the sixth month, they have what is called, the 
Annprdshun, which consists in making the child taste 
food ; because hitherto it has been living only on milk. 
Some rice is cooked with milk and sugar ; it is first 
offered to a god, and then a little of it is put into the 
child's mouth. From henceforth it can take sweet- 
meats into its mouth, and a little food also if. neces- 
sary. At this time they also perform the ceremony of 
the Nickhdtoar * to keep away evil from the infant. 
After this comes the rite of shaving the child. In the 
first, third, fifth or any such odd year, they generally 
go to a certain fair and in an auspicious time, and 
about the temple of a god, have the child shaved for the 
first time. On this occasion the barber gets a pretty 
handsome present. 

We now turn our attention to the funeral ceremo- 
nies. When a sick person, is supposed to be near 

* In this ceremony they waive a mixture of a little chaff, salt, 
Ac., round the child's head twice or thrice and then throw it in- 
to the fire. 

[ 189 ] 

death, they plaster or consecrate a spot in the room 
with cowdung, spread some coosii grass there, and lay 
the dying person on it with his bed clothes. On this 
occasion, those who are able, present a black cow or 
money equivalent to its worth to the Gangd pootter 
Brahmin, a man who has to do with Hindoo corpses ; 
some who are wealthy give much more. They also 
put the leaves of the sacred toolshee and the holy 
water of the Ganges into mouth of the dying man and 
place the small image of the god Saligram on his 
breast ; and some who do not do so, only take the 
water of the Granges into their mouth and repeat, 
Ram, Ram. 

The Hindoos burn their dead. On the death of a 
man, his son or whoever is to set fire to the funeral 
pile, makes a ball of some dough of barley flour and 
puts it into the right hand of the corpse. Then its 
(the corpse's) relations make a frame work of bamboos, 
spread some straw on it, and on the straw a new and 
white piece of linen, and after wrapping the corpse in 
a white cloth, lay it on the frame work and cover it 
with a clean sheet or a shawl according to the circum- 
stances of the family. Now four men take it up and 
as they carry it to the river side or the burning place- 
continue repeating, " Rdm, Ram, sat hain ; Rdm, Rdm, 
sat hain ;" that is, Rum is true, Rrim is true. On 
their way to the place where they burn the body, they 
lay down the corpse once, and the man who is to set fire 
to the funeral pile, puts again a ball of barley flour 
into its hand ; when this is done they proceed on. 

When they arrive on the spot, they so place the dead 
man that his head is towards the north and his 
feet to the south. After this, they bathe him in 
the sheet in which he is wrapped, and place him on 

t 1» ] 

the funeral pie. Then they pot a little gold and 
clarified butter into his mouth. A little chandan 
wood is put on him, and on that some more common- 

Hen the person who has to set fire to the pile, has 
himself shaved in every part of his head and face, except- 
ing the cue on his head, and from this time for ten days 
•touches nobody. If the person deceased, whether a 
male or female, be younger than the man who sets 
fire, he does not shave his whiskers. When the bo- 
dy is half consumed they pour a little ghee on the 
head and break it with bamboos, which is by no means 
an affectionate and respectful treatment. When the 
body is almost consumed, they quench the fire with 
mater of the Ganges, and throw the body into the river. 
Then they clean the place where the body has been 
burned, and write on it Ram, Ram ; then at a little 
distance from the spot, the barber sticks a blade of the 
grass called Eoosha on the ground, and all the people 
bathe and throw on it tilahjali, (water with certain 
seeds in it,) and the Pandit makes them repeat some- 
thing. When all have bathed, they eome to the door 
of the house of the deceased, chew the bitter leaves of 
a very bitter tree, called the Neemb, and also a few 
grains of barley with the leaves ; then wash their 
mouth, and after remaining there for a few minutes 
go home. Those people that live at a distance from 
the Ganges, cannot avail themselves of its holy water ; 
so after breaking the head of the deceased as just said 
they come home. After one or two days, his relations 
go there, pick up all the bones, and bring them borne, 
where they are kept ; whenever any relation or rela- 
tions go to bathe in the Ganges, they carry them, and 
throw them into the river. 

[ 191 ] 

This is one of the rites, which are performed for the 
salvation of the deceased. Among the Brahmins the 
burning of the dead body and the ceremonies that fol- 
low are not performed before the Jaggo Pabit or in- 
vestiture with the sacred cord ; and among people of 
other castes not before marriage. 

The person who sets fire to the funeral pile, sleeps 
on the ground for eleven days, and the people of his 
family for the same period live on cakes baked on coals, 
and on oord and rice. For eleven days they do not 
eat any thing cooked in an iron thing. The man 
that sets fire makes a pind or ball every day, till the 
tenth ; on that day, he takes them all and goes to a 
river, a temple, or a grove, and there cooks rice and 
milk, makes balls of the dish, and puts them on the 
ground. On these balls they put same ghamrd (a wild 
plant,) khass ,( the sweet smelling root of a grass,) and 
sweetmeat, and pour on them a libation of milk and 
water, burn incense of ghee, and light a lamp before 
them. They believe that when a person dies he be- 
comes an evil spirit, but by these ceremonies, he be- 
comes better and happier. For -ten days after a man's 
death, all his relations including the women, bathe 
and offer tilanjali ; and for the same period, they 
burn a lamp in an earthen pot, and suspend it to a 
peepul tree ; they also suspend a large earthen pot full 
of water ; the latter has a very small hole, through 
which the water gradually drips away. This water is 
to quench the dead man's thirst ; the lamp is to show 
him the water ; and the tUdnjali is to gain him an 
admittance into heaven. 

On the eleventh day, they have the ceremonies of 
the Ekddasha. The Maha Brahmin, who has to do 
with the dead, comes to the house of the deceased where 

[ 192 ] 

the man, "that set fire -to the funeral pile, washes his 
feet, puts a mark on his forehead, and mates him pre- 
sents, consisting of a cow, vessels, clothes, jewels, a 
bed-stead with bed, grain, clarified butter, oil, sweet- 
meats, fruit, an umbrella, a pair of shoes ; in short 
all those things which a man uses while living. Ru- 
pees and gold-mohurs are also given, and those who 
are very rich, give tents, palanquins, horses, elephants 

Those, who observe what is called the brikhot sitrg f 
marry a pair of calves with one or two ceremonies. 
They brand the male calf on the hinder parts with 
certain marks, and let him go free ; this is the animal 
that in course of time becomes so fat and furious, and 
is called a sacred bull. The female calf is presented 
to the Maha Brahmin. Then they cook rice and milk 
in sixteen different places, and make sixteen balls of 
the food. A small altar is made, and something is 
repeated by the Brahmin ; while the verses are being 
repeated, the balls are placed on the altar; some 
ghamra and khass are then put on the balls, an incense 
of ghee is burnt, and a lamp lighted before them. A 
small pot full of water is also placed there. Ail this 
is for the use of the departed spirit. 

After this, rice and milk are again cooked in two 
different places ; of one of these preparations, one ball 
is made for the deceased ; and of the other, three ; of 
these latter, one is meant for the grand-father of the 
man who set fire to the tfuneral pile, another for his 
great-grand -father, and the third for his great-great- 
grand-father. These balls are then bathed with water ; 
and chandan, rice, toolshee, flowers, food, clothes, and 
money are offered to them. By this ceremony, the 
departed spirit is admitted into the society of its an- 

[ 193 ] 

testers. Then the man who set fire to the funeral 
pile, gives a present to the Maha Brahmin, who bless- 
es him. After this the Pandit burns incense in the 
house of the deceased ; now the man who set fire, puts 
on his full dress and salutes his relations and friends. 
From this day, they can eat food cooked in iron 
utensils. On the thirteenth day, they give a dinner 
to thirteen Brahmins, and make them presents of ves- 
sels, clothes, staves, shoes, umbrellas, «fcc. Then in- 
cense is burned and a cow is given in alms ; from this 
day, people of this family can eat with their friends. 

From the Amawas (end of the moonlit fortnight) 
of that month on every amawas, thirty jug fulls of 
water are offered to a peepul tree, which is considered 
sacred. On the twelfth amawas, they give a dinner 
to twelve Brahmins, and make them presents of ves- 
sels and clothes. On an amawas of the fourth year, 
they again give a dinner to four Brahmins and make 
them the usual presents. 

When a man or woman dies, people of all castes 
shave themselves on the third and fifth day, and 
then bathe, In the third and fifth months, they light 
a lamp with castor oil and leave it in a field, and give a 
dinner to their relations and friends. In the time of 
the Pittur Pukhsh (noticed before among the festivals) 
they offer water to their ancestors for fifteen days, and 
on the date of the father's death perform some cere- 
monies called the Sr&dhy and invite Brahmins to a din- 
ner. Those who are possessed of means, also go to a 
place called Gaya, and there offer balls for their ances- 
tors and give a good deal to Brahmins. 

[ 1M 1 



Number of Masons — The Hindoo year — Falling of leave 
Spring — Harvest — Hot winds — How the day passed — Night — 
Cooling drinks — Dust storms — Approach of the rainy season — 
Sometimes late — Its arrival — Appearance of the surface of the 
Earth — Fields attended to — Brooks and rivers swell — Women 
swing — Weather sometimes oppressive — Sickness — Cold sea- 
son — Winter stuffs — Fire — Hindoo division of time — Whence 
they date their tame. 

Hindoo books divide the year into six seasons ; but 
people commonly speak of them as three, that is, the 
hot, rainy, and cold ; the other three are the com- 
mencements of these. 

The Hindoo year commences abont the middle of 
March. A few weeks before this, they have a holy- 
day, called the Basant, noticed before ; about this 
time, the cold weather is about to take its leave and 
Spring to set in. When Spring does arrive after some 
time with its full exhilirating influence, people's hearts 
are light and glad, and the approach of the Holee 
festival, one of their greatest holy-days adds much to 
this happiness. In the course of a few days, this 
festival arrives, and the Hindoos are mad with plea- 
sure. At or a little before this, they lay aside their 
. winter clothes, and put on white raiment. 

In all intensely .cold countries, leaves of trees fall off 
in Autumn, but here it is otherwise ; we have the 
Putjhur or falling of leaves in Spring.- All old leaves 
of trees fall off in the course of a few weeks. While 

[195 ] 

the old leaves are falling off, new ones are coming out, 
and trees here never appear so bare and desolate as 
they do in Winter in eold countries. At this time 
Bhoorjees or people who parch grain are seen going 
about, looking somewhat like the chimney-sweepers 
of Europe, collecting the dry leaves, and carrying them 
in large bundles on their heads. They heat their 
ovens with these leaves. In the course of a few days, 
the trees are attired in their new raiment, which is to 
last them through the year in all its vicissitudes of 
hot and dusty winds, a powerful sun, heavy rains, and 
piercing cold ; and they are as fresh and green as 
ever ; and it is a great mercy that Providence has 
ordered it so, that they should have their new leaves 
as soon as they lose their old ones. Were they to 
remain bare through the hot season, as trees generally 
do in European countries in winter, the sufferings of 
man and beast from the direct rays and the powerful 
heat of the Sun would be dreadful. They are of very 
great comfort to all creatures. 

At this time also a great many trees blossom, and 
the fields of wheat and barley and other grain are fast 
ripening for the reaper, and the air is perfumed with 
their sweet and refreshing odour. In some places 
there are large tracts of land, covered with the Dhdk 
(Butei Frondosa ;) it blossoms at this time and has a 
large red flower ; this tree is from three to skc feet 
high, and the whole tract of land seems, an account of 
its flower, to be glowing with fire. The sight is ex- 
tremely pleasing ; according to an Asiatic, it " increases 
by contrast the paleness of the unhappy lover's face, 
and the air of Spring fans the flame of love." Happi- 
ness seems to pervade nature at this time of the 
year. Groves are enlivened by the songs of the 
feathere4 tribe ; the dove goes on with its cooing the 

t ™6 1 

whole day ; sparrows and other birds are on the 
wing about houses and in groves, from sunrise to 
sunset; and butterflies are also busy in gardens. 
The things which chiefly conspire to make man happy, 
are, the departure of the cold weather, the odoriferous 
atmosphere that he breathes, the approach of harvest, 
and the pleasure that he expects from the use of 
different sorts of new grain. A few weeks after the 
commencement of spring, the fields are ripe for har- 
vest, and agriculturists, with all the members of their 
families, and sometimes hired labourers too, are en- 
gaged about them in reaping them. 

After the fields are reaped and the grain thrashed 
and disposed of or put away, the majority of the coun- 
try people are pretty idle for about two months until 
the rainy season sets in, for an account of the intense 
and powerful heat of the Sun, and the parched and dry 
statj of the earth, they can do nothing about their 
fields. During this time, some of them who are 
strongly disposed to be dishonest, haying nothing to 
engage them, betake themselves to burglary and 
highway robbery. 

About the middle of April or beginning of May, 
furious hot winds begin to blow from the west. They 
begin to blow hard from about ten. in the morning and 
last till about five in the afternoon ; or sometimes till 
sun set, which is as late as seven ; and now and then 
at the hottest part of the season, continue blowing the 
whole night also. These hot winds are healthful to 
people so long as they remain inside their houses or 
do not expose themselves to them. They are 
fiercest and hottest about the beginning of June, and 
are at that time often fatal to travellers who are ex- 
posed to them for hours; travellers drop down 

[ 197 ] 

suddenly and die if relief be not administered soon. 
Though many travellers go during the night to avoid 
the hot winds and the almost scorching heat of the 
Sun* yet a great many travel during the day alsd. 
This subject, is spoken of in the chapter on the mod* 
of performing a journey. When a person is over- 
powered by the hot winds, they roast in hot ashes 
two or three small unripe mangoes which are at this 
time found on mangoe* trees ; when they become soft, 
they are broken and mixed with a little cold water, 
which is given to the man to drink. It gives the 
desired relief when recourse is had to it in time. Hot 
winds are very injurious, when a person has a light 
Govering on his body and the skin is exposed to their 
fierceness for some time ; but they would not hurt 
him were he to cover his body and head well with a 
thick quilt or soma other such impervious stuff. 

As the days are* very long m summer, and the 
great heat does not allow them to be engaged in work 
the whole day, the Hindoos take a good long nap du- 
ring the day ; this they do after breakfast, which at 
this time of the year is generally over before twelve. 
When the nap. is over, if the hot winds allow, some 
of them sit under a large tree in? the village or town, 
and talk about different things, such as the state of 
the weather,- something going, on* in the village, 
cattle^ <fcc. These are generally agriculturists, who 
have nothing particular to do. Tradesmen and mer- 
chants are engaged in their shops., * 


In the hot season, they cannot sleep inside their 
houses, an account of the suffocating heat. A few, 
mostly men, sleep on the top of their houses ; a great 
many in their yards and on the second story of their 
houses, which is more airy ; some in the streets, or on 

t 1»8 I 

the platforms and in verandahs at the doors of their 
court yards ; and some near their cattle if they be in 
a separate place. The nights being short, and their 
dinner late- as usual, they get only a short sleep at 
night. A great part of it before and after dinner they 
spend in smoking, talking, telling stories, and singing. 
While singing they generally have the instrument 
called Khunjree, mentioned before. Several of them 
unite in this amusement and pass one or two hours 
after dinner. 

Those who can afford them, use cooling drinks in this 
season. Besides sugar and water, these cooling drinks 
have in them, rose water, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, 
the juice of the Falsa, (a smell, red, sweet, and cool- 
ing berry raised in gardens,) the fruit of the Tama- 
rind tree, and some other things, all to be had fn 
the markets. There are some other things, which the 
poorer people also use for their comfort ; the princi- 
pal of these ts the water melons raised in the country 
in great abundance. They have also the Kukree, a 
sort of cucumber, which is also cooling and plentiful. 
The musk melon too is extensively raised and sold 
at this time of the year ; it is not cooling however but 
on the contrary injurious, when taken in excess, es- 
pecially in the hottest weather. 

As the heat becomes more oppressive, people cover 
themselves as lightly as possible ; those who can afford 
it use the thinest stuffs for their clothing, and all, when 
at home, divest themselves of all the pieces that are, 
by the custom of the country, thought unnecessary for 
the purposes of decency at home ; — in other words, 
they put off their coats, turbans, and other pieces, 
and have on them only their dhotees and light caps. 

t 199 1 

In the diy season, we have frequent dust storms. 
One of the most furious of these storms is a very 
grand sight. They almost always rise in the west, 
and when there is one on an extensive scale one end of 
it seems to touch the north pole, and the other the 
south. It gets darker and darker, as it rises higher ; 
the feathered trito are terrified at it, and indeed a \ 
great number of them perish, when it comes in its 
greatest fury. We have notice of a storm one or 
two hours before its arrival. When it gets pretty high^ 
it is an awful sight and seems to threaten the surface 
of the earth with utter destruction. Before it has 
actually arrived, people call out to their neighbours 
to put out all their fires. It is a great mercy that 
fire very seldom breaks out at the time of a storm ; 
else the destruction of human and brute life and pro- 
perty would be really incalculable. When the 
storm does arrive it roars and rages in the greatest 
fury, and seems as if it were powerful enough to carry 
every thing before it. It makes the strongest trees 
strain ; in fact, some of them are torn up by the roots 
and carried away to some distance ; cows and other 
domestic animals are sometimes thrown into wells ; 
mankind would also suffer in the same manner, only 
they shelter themselves. The storm carries such a 
vast quantity of dust with it that the light of day is 
actually turned into the darkness of night. These 
dust storms commence in the afternoon about four or 
five o'clock; and when one comes with such great 
power lasts for some hours. But such exceedingly 
furious storms are rare. We generally have those 
that are pretty powerful, and at the same time do not 
do much damage. These may be called the ordinary 
dust storms of this country. In them boys run about 
the streets and play, and are quite amused with the 
dust and wind. These also carry such a great quan- 


[ 200 ] 

tity of dust with them, that nothing can be seen 6ven 
at the distance of a few yards for some time. High- 
way robbers have a very good opportunity during 
storms. Travellers are often overtaken by them and 
robbed ; and they cannot be apprehended, because they 
cannot be seen in the storm. Even a faithful Polioe 
is not of much use in such cases, unless something be- 
longing to the traveller be acoidently discovered in the 
house of the robber. Storms are of the. greatest 
possible use to people ; the noxious atmosphere of the- 
confined house, and the filthy vapours of the narrow 
and dirty lanes and streets are carried away, and the 
element of the breath of life is made pure and whole- 
some. Were it not for these storms, thousands would; 
probably be carried off by sickness arising from filthy 
and noxious vapours, especially in all cities, that are 
toa narrow and confined and at the same time very 
populous. It is in the hot season that cholera gene- 
rally breaks out and carries off thousands.. 

Towards the latter part of May and the beginning, 
of June, the heat becomes intense, especially when 
there is no wind stirring.. To get some relief, people 
mostly bathe at this time twice a day. Cities that 
stand on the banks of rivers send out during the hot- 
test part of the season thousands of their inhabitants in 
the morning and particularly in the evening, who re- 
gale themselves with long bathe in the rivers. About 
the middle of June thunder is heard growling in the 
skies, and very often in clear ones too ; it gives the 
poorer part of the population notice of the approach 
of the rains, and wains them to repair their thatches 
and prepare suitable shelter for themselves and their 

The rainy season is commonly reckoned from the 

t 201 j 

latter part of June, though it often sets in a fort* 
night before. Sometimes the rains are not timely, 
though plenty of clouds are now and then seen in the 
skies. Grain gets very dear and the poorer part of 
the community feel the effects of this rise. A famine 
is dreaded and the part of the country where this dry- 
ness prevails is in great consternation ; and robberies 
are also more frequent. There are some people, who 
in the time of plenty buy up good deal of corn, and 
at this time of scarcity sell it to great advantage ; 
their profits are two or three fold. When the rains 
are not timely, it is believed and complained by some 
among the Hindoos that these men have buried under 
ground some water in earthen pots, and that, that 
keeps the rains back. 

By the scorching rays of the Sun during the preced- 
ing three or four months, the earth becomes quite 
parched, and when the rains set in, it drinks with 
avidity the precious element. The atmosphere is cool- 
ed, and all nature rejoices at its timely supply. Man 
and beast are both delighted ; trees are washed and 
refreshed, and grass and plants spring out of the earth 
and cover it like a green carpet. The whole face of 
Mature is changed and happiness pervades the land. 
Thick clouds cover the heavens, and sometimes the 
sun is not seen for days. The lightning flashes and 
the thunder growls in the skies, and both are moat 
sublime, especially at night. Sometimes it rains in- 
cessantly for days and nights. All the ponds and 
lakes in the country are filled, as are also all the brooks 
and smaller runs of weather which makes travelling out 
in the country difficult and sometimes dangerous, ft 
having no roads and bridges. Besides the Grand 
Trunk Road, that runs through the country from east 
to west, there are branch roads between the different 

[ 202 ] 

military Btations ; these as well as the Trunk road 
have bridges and are quite safe for travelling ; but 
this is not the ease all over the country. When the 
rains are unusually heavy and incessant all over the 
country, the largest rivers overflow their banks, and 
sweep off hundreds of villages and cause a great des- 
truction of life and property. Peacocks at the time 
in an especial manner enliven groves and forests with 
their loud notes ; and this is also the season, when 
Hindoo women, or according to an Asiatic "thousands 
of nymphs in dresses of all colours" swing with songs 
suitable to the occasion. These swings are suspended 
from trees as well as high posts. Whenever there ifc 
no wind or breeze stirring and it is not raining, the 
steam that escapes out of the heated earth is almost 
suffocating. This makes snakes run out of their holes 
and creep into houses and bite people whenever they 
come in their way. 

As soon as the rainy-season sets in, agriculturists 
begin to bestir themselves about their fields. They 
surround them with little banks to prevent the rain 
from running out, and .plough them twice or thrice at 
the first to let the earth soak inasmuch rain as it can; 
At this time also farmers settle with their landholders 
for the ensuing year, and get written agreements about 
their fields ; these documents are called Puttas. The 
commencement of the rains is the beginning of the 
agricultural year. 

Sometimes towards the latter part of the rainy 
season, that is about September and October, there is 
an entire cessation of the rains. This causes a change 
in the weather and makes it very warm, which brings 
on general sickness ; and fever, and cholera attack 
people. The religious excitement of women of certain 

[ 203 ] 

parts of the country rises to a high pitch, and they 
set out for the worship of Hurdeo, mentioned before, 
and also of other gods and goddesses. 

In November, people begin to think of making 
warm clothes for the cold season. These clothes al- 
most invariably consist of various sorts of chintz which . 
is manufactured in different parts of the country and 
also imported from Europe. Wealthy cloth merchants 
always* manage to have a good time by supply of dif- 
ferent cold weather stuffs from Calcutta and other 
places. They generally sell tbem by wholesale to re- 
tailers, from whom the mass of the community supply 
themselves. The sorts . of winter stuffs that people., 
purchase for their coats and quilts are of course accor- 
ding to their circumstances. The cloths that the 
mass of the population get for their coats are made of 
cotton thread ; they are lined with some sort of co- 
loured linen, and stuffed by a class called DJioomyas, 
who are in great request at. this time of the year. 
This is the season also when tailors make a good deal, 
and are working the whole day and a good part of the 
night too. Most of these coats are prepared with 
great taste according to the fancy of the wearer ; all 
the edges are always lined with yellow, red, or green, 
to make the coat appear more beautiful by contrast. 
The higher and wealthier classes generally have the 
long coat, and all the others the short one ; both are no- 
ticed before. To cover themselves at night people have 
quilts and blankets ; the latter are mostly of a coarse 
kind and used only by the poor ; the former are of 
different qualities and can be used by all from the 
peasant to the prince. These quilts are of various sorts 
of calicoes, all prepared in the country. They are al- 
so lined with some coloured linen, beautified with 
suitable edging, and stuffed with a good deal of cot- 

[ 204 ] 

ton. A great many poor country people during the 
cold season spread under them the straw of a small 
grain, which keeps them warm and comfortable. 

To cover themselves during the day, besides coats, 
people have something to throw over them. The 
poor have either coarse blankets or long and pretty 
wide sheets of coarse linen sewed double ; those who 
are in better circumstances have a thin woollen stuff 
coloured red or green. Among people living in cities, 
the cold weather is said to shew the real circumstances 
of a person. If he is really well off, he has superior 
warm clothing and a good valuable shawl about him, 
(for some people buy only old shawls ;) but if not, he 
has only what those in middling circumstances use. 
This criterion, however, does not hold with regard to 
country people ; every thing is among them more 
simple and unpretending, — the richest Zaminddrs hav- 
ing for an upper covering nothing but a red or green 
Zoee, a thin woollen stuff. 

During this season they also have fires in their yards 
or public rooms, or in streets. A fire is made by dig- 
ging a hole in the ground and filling it with every 
thing that can be burned, such as dry cowdung, straw, 
small pieces of sticks, leaves of trees, &c. Boys and 
girls are seen at this time of the year going about and 
collecting all these things to make fires in the morn- 
ings and evenings. Ten or twelve persons sit round 
the fire in the mornings and evenings, and after din- 
ner, smoking and chatting and constantly disturbing 
the fire with some thing. 

The Hindoo division of time is as follows :— 
They have four watches in the day, and the same 
number in the night ; these are called pahars. The 

[ 205 ] 

first watch of the day commences at six, the second 
at nine, the third at twelve ; and the fourth at three ; 
and in the same manner, those of the night. The 
day and night together are also divided into sixty 
smaller portions, called gharees ; so that each of the 
eight pahars consists of seven and a half gharees. 
They have twelve months in the year, which are called, 
Chyte, Byesdkh, Jeth, Asarh, Sawwun, Bhadon, Koo- 
war, Katik, Aghun, Poos, Magh, Fagoon. Each month 
has thirty days. Half the month when the Moon 
shines is called the Oojeedld pdkh, and the other half, 
which is dark, the Andherd pdkh. The days of the 
Hindoo week are. Itwar, (Sunday,) Sombar, Mangal, 
Boodh, Brahaspat, Snooker, Saneechar. Of these 
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are aus- 
picious ; and the rest the contrary, though Sunday is 
their most sacred day. 

They date their time from the reign of Bikunn^ditt 
one of their wisest, best and greatest kings. The 
present year is the Nineteen hundred and sixteenth. 




Sneezing — Mentioning the name of the animal monkey in the 
morning — Selling for the first time in the day — A fat child not 
to be called fat — A child's name not to be mentioned in the 
night — &c. — &c. — Proverbs— What said when one is distressed 
and forlorn — Regarding ingratitude — Ruin by discontentment— 
Hypocrisy — &c. — &c. — &c. 

Each of these subjects would fill a volume. Super- 
stition hourly governs the life of a Hindoo, and 


t 206 ] 

Proverbs are also most frequently repeated in conversa- 
tion. We shall mention only a few of both. 

If a person is about to commence a work or set out 
for some place, and hears somebody sneeze, he will 
stop for a few minutes. Sneezing is considered a bad 
omen, and Hindoos believe, if they do not mind it, 
they are sure to fail in their undertaking. 

If they hear the word Bunder (a monkey) early in 
the morning, they think it is very unlucky, and believe 
they are not likely to get any thing to eat during the 
day. And yet the monkey is one of their most sacred 
and highly respected animals. This is one of their 
many inconsistencies. 

If a person go early in the morning to a shop and 
want any thing on credit, he would never get it. Shop- 
keepers believe, if they give the first article that is 
sold in the morning on credit, it would be a 
very bad omen, and they would be unlucky the whole 
day. Even if the customer be a particular friend, 
they will never make the first bargain on credit, but 
will tell him to come after a while. The first cash 
bargain is called Bohnee. 

When you see a fat child, you must not make the 
remark it is fat. -They say, this would be looking on 
the child with an evil eye and wishing it to become 
lean. Women are peculiarly sensitive on this point, 
and perhaps there is no other way of offending them 
more with regard to their children, and it is probably 
with them that this superstition originated. 

When they believe their children have been looked on 
with an evil eye by somebody they take a little chaff 

[ 207 ] 

salt, (fee., in their hand, waive them round the child 
twice or thrice, and then throw them into the fire. 
This, according to them, will remove any evil that 
may be impending over the child by the evil sight. 
A mother would be glad to be told that her child is very 
poorly and does not thrive, though this were not the case. 
Very often when a woman is asked how a child does, 
she begins a long plaintive story about its imagined 
sufferings ; she says, it eats nothing, does not sleep 
well, and cries much ; she is doing for it all she can, 
but it does not thrive ; <fcc. And yet nothing may be 
the matter with the child. 

A ohild's name must not be mentioned in the night 
for fear an owl should hear it. They believe, if an owl 
happens to hear it, he would repeat it every night, and 
with this repetition the child would pine away and die. 
They are terrified when they heat an owl hooting 
about them in the night, and always scare it away 
when it is on their house or in a tree about them. 
They believe its hooting portends death. 

A child must not be allowed to see a looking glass 
before it has teethed ; they think, this would make it 
suffer dreadfully while teething. 

There is a word boojkdnd, which means to extin- 
guish, and can be used for fire and lamps. They use it 
for the former, but not for the latter ; doing so for the 
latter would be ominous to the life of the husband. 
They, that is men and women, both believe, that the 
husband, the lamp of the family, would die by using 
this word. Two or three others answer in its place, 
A lamp must not be blown out with the mouth. 

Seeing an oil-man early in the morning is consider- 

[ 208 ] 

ed very unlucky, as also people of a notoriously bad 
character. When a Hindoo gets into some serious 
trouble during the day, or any evil befalls him, he 
■says, " What wretch's face did I happen to see early 
this morning 1 " When a jackal howls or cries toward 
morning, they believe somebody has died. 

The word Sdmp (a snake) must not be mentioned 
in the night ; — it is too bad to escape the lips during 
the darkness of the night, and is, according to the 
Hindoos, sure to bring it near. When they have oc- 
casion to mention the reptile at night they call it 
keerd, which means both a reptile and a worm. The 
name of the wolf also is for the same reason not 
mentioned at night. When people speak of him, they 
call him, a j ana war, a corruption of the Persian word 
j an war, an animal. 

When they take off their shoes to sit down, should 
one shoe happen to fall upon another, they believe, if 
they let it remain in that state, it would be an omen 
for them to travel ; they immediately set it right 
and thus prevent travelling ! When they yawn, they 
always fillip two of their fingers, either of the right 
or left hand, but mostly of the former. The reason 
of this no one can tell. 

Some people abstain from those fruits of which they 
are very fond, and believe they will be rewarded for 
this in heaven. Some of them who professes to be emi- 
nently pious leave off eating salt, and consider this 
also meritorious. Some who fast on Sunday do not 
eat salt on that day. 

When the Hindoos set out from their houses on 
some affair and are immediately called back for some- 

[ 209 ] 

thing, they think it a very bad omen, and come baok, 
chew a betel leaf or smoke and then go after a while. 
All the following are also bad signs.— -Seeing a person 
that has some defect in his body, such as blindness, 
lameness, Ac ; a snake or jackal crossing one's 
path; seeing a Brahmin with his head covered or 
without a mark on his forehead ; hearing a person 
crying when you are going any where* a person's, 
being asked, where he- is going, when he is leaving his. 
house for something important or urgent ; the cawing 
of a crow on a withered tree ; accidently falling in 
with a dead body (that is carried to be burnt) and 
going the same direction with it ; the crying of a 
kite ; the seeing of an eunuch, a widow, and also of a 
holy man of the highest order (Sunnyasee) ; the meet- 
ing of a cat ; and the- seeing of an empty pitcher. 

A few of their good omens are; — A dead man being 
carried away with no one crying with it ; getting curd 
and also fish ; meeting with a woman of the town, 
seeing a pitcher with a rope attached to it ; a fox 
crossing your path; seeing a Brahmin with his head 
uncovered, or carrying a jug of holy water of the 
Ganges in his hand ; a harmless lizard creeping up 
one's body ; hearing a bride cry when she is leaving 
her parents and going to live with her husband ; hear- 
ing a worship gong strike or a pooja shell sound when 
one is setting out for some place or thing ; and 
a crow's perching on a dead body floating down a river.. 

We turn our attention now to the proverbs. They 
will lose much of their force and become almost in- 
sipid by translation, but will still go some way in 
shewing the manners and customs of the people. 

Dhobi ka kutta na gbar k& na ghat ka. — A washer- 
It R 

[ 210 ] 

man's dog may be said to belong truly neither to hi* 
house nor to the ghat, or the place where he washes ; 
the latter being always at the side of a river or at a 
pond. The meaning is, that the dog gets food neither 
at home nor at the ghat ; as he keeps running back- 
wards and forwards from the house to the ghat, and 
from the ghaf to the house, — the people at home 
suppose, he must have got food at the ghat (where 
washermen generally take their morning meal, it be- 
ing brought to them,) and the people at the ghat be- 
lieve he must have been fed at home ; thus he suffers 
through their suppositions, and is fed neither at home 
nor at the ghat. This proverb is used for one who is 
in a forlorn and wandering condition and finds no rest 
any where. 

Handf gai to gai, kutte kf zat pahichanf. — No matter 
if the earthen pot be polluted and lost ; we shall know 
the dog for the future. Poor Hindoos generally keep 
earthen pots to cook their victual ; these pots must 
not be touched by people of other castes and unclean 
animals ; when touched by them ; they are believed 
to become unclean and are thrown away on the village 
dunghill as useless. In this proverb, a dog belonging 
to the family is supposed to have put his mouth into 
the pot and thus proved himself unworthy of trust. 
They use this saying when they are deceived by a 
friend or somebody else, who has been faithless or 

Xdhf choor ek ko dhawe, 

Ais£ bure, thih. na pawe. 

Literally, he who throws up half a bread [which is 

certain] for a whole one [which is uncertain] will go 

down into the water (ruin himself) so sadly, that he 

will find no bottom to stand on, Applied to people, 

[ 211 1 

who bring trouble and sometimes also ruin upon them- 
selves by a too eager desire and imprudent haste to 
better their condition. 

Gur khAen gulgulon se parhez.— They eat goor or 
hard molasses, but scrupulously abstain from goolgoo- 
las, (a sort of burins,) because this sweetmeat is pre* 
pared with goor. This proverb is the same as, " Strain* 
ing at a gnat and swallowing a camel." 

PAnde jf pachhtrfenge ; 

Phir wahf chanon ki khrfenge. 
The priest will after all be obliged to eat the cakes 
of the chana" flour. Chani is the name t>f a sort of 
grain, spoken of before ; it is cheaper than wheat, and 
its meal is also coarser. Though its flour is very 
useful in the preparation of several dishes, yet for 
cakes that of wheat is preferable. Here a priest is 
supposed to be angry with his wife for baking cakes 
of the chana* flour and not of the wheat and in con-* 
sequence to refuse for some time to take his meal, but 
is at last brought down and forced by hunger to eat 
the chana* cakes. Used, when a person refuses a thing 
at first, but at last has to take it. 

"Asharft lufen koelon par muhar.^Goldmohurs or 
sovereigns are allowed to be taken away, but charcoal 
is kept safe with seals. Equivalent to the English 
proverb, " Penny wise and pound foolish." 

Gidhf ga*e gilaunda* kh£e ; 

Daur daur mahue tar jae. 

Before giving the meaning of this proverb, we must 

say, that in certain parts of India, we have a tree, 

called the Mahooa (Bassia letifolia,) the flowers of 

which are very sweet and are collected by people as 

t 212 ] 

they would do raisins ; they are eaten fresh, and are 
also dried and put away for future use. From these 
flowers, which too are called mahooa, a spirituous 
liquor is also distilled. The fruit of the tree, which 
is pretty large, is gilaunid ; and animals are very 
fond both of the flower and the fruit. From the 
latter a colourless oil is extracted, which is used 
in certain dishes by the country people, and by 
which clarified butter is also adulterated. The tran- 
slation of the proverb is, that the cow, after having 
several times found gilaundds under the tree, goes 
there constantly, hoping to meet with the same success. 
The application is obvious ; it is used, when a person, 
having been favoured with something or in some man- 
ner once or twice, expects the same frequently. 

Dudh ka jala" matha* phtink phtink pie. He. who> 
hasjscalded his mouth with hot milk, tries to cool 
butter milk also with his mouth before he drinks it. 
A person that has once suffered by something dreads- 
the same in some other things, in which there is not the 
least cause for fear. Butter milk is never hot. This 
proverb is somewhat like the English one, — " A burnt 
child dreads the fire." 

Jiske p£nw na gai hmwaf ; 

So kya jane pir paraf. 
He who has not suffered by cracks in his own feet,, 
what does he know of the pain that others feel by 
them ? The Hindoos wear no stockings, and while at 
work put off their shoes too. This in the cold season 
causes deep and painful sore cracks in the heels of 
some of them. The meaning is, he, who has not known 
suffering by experience, does not know what others feeL 

2Wo men dhdl urdte ho ! — You charge me with kick- 

[ 213 ] 

iug up dust in the boat ! There is a fable that once 
a wolf and a goat were crossing a river in the same 
boat. The goat was quietly sitting or standing, but 
the wolf having a mind to eat her up and wishing to 
find a pretext, angrily said to her, — How dare you be 
so impudent as to kick up this dust here ! The goat 
meekly replied, — " How can dust be raised in a boat t 
if you have a mind to eat me up you might as well da 
so without this pretence." This is used when a per- 
son, especially a powerful one, seeks a quarrel with 
another, who is weak and helpless, when he has not 
even the shadow of a cause to da so. 

Nanchon kaise angan terha ! How shall I dance 1 the 
court yard is crooked ! A dancing girl is supposed to 
have made this excuse. They say so, when a person is ask- 
ed to do something, and does it not through vain excuses, 

MitM aur kafhauti bhar ! You want a sweet thing 
and at the time a dish full of it ! It means a small 
•quantity only must be expected of good things* 

Kahen khet ki, sunen kharihan kf. One is speaking 
pf the field, and the hearer dreams of the barn, or 
rather the spot in the field where they collect 
stalks of corn and thrash it. It is used whom a per- 
son is speaking of one thing, and the person addressed 
thinks and speaks inadvertently of another. 

Donon din se gae pande ; 

Halua bMe. na mande. 
The priest, poor fellow, is lost to both things, and 
is now neither halooa nor mdndap, (the latter being 
two kinds of sweetmeat.) This is used when a person 
by an imprudent step loses what he had before, and 
does not get what he was aiming at. 

[ 2U ] 

Jal meg rahke magar se bair 1 What ! live in 
water, and at enmity with the crocodile ! — A person 
must be on good terms with his superior, and submis- 
sive while in his power. 

Andhe ke hath men hater ! Lo ! A quail in a blind 
man's hand ! The force of the proverb is heightened 
by the fact, that quails hide themselves in bushes and 
are not easily discovered. They say so when a man 
gets some thing accidentally. 

Neki karen aur pdchh pdchh ! What ! do a man 
good and ask his permission to do so I 

Hakim hare, 

Munh men mare. 
A superior is defeated in argument, and still persists 
in blaming his inferior. This means power on the part 
of the former, and helplessness on that of the latter. 

Hakim mare aur rone na de. A superior or ruler 
strikes, and at the same time does not allow to cry. 
This is said, when one troubles a servant or inferior 
and at the same time does not allow him to complain. 

Ma(hd mangne chalin malaiya pfchhe dubaf. She is 
going to ask for some butter milk, but conceals the 
pot behind her through shame. When people make 
butter, the butter milk, of which their is an abundance 
when a family has plenty of milk, is given away to 
the poorer neighbours. Women and children go and 
ask for it themselves. It is used, when people wish 
to ask a favour, and are at the same time ashamed 
of doing so through pride. 

[ 215 ] 

Sab din change ; 

Teohar ke din nange. 
Well off every day, but on festivals, when means are 
most necessary. Some people make a great shew at 
other times ; but when a proper time arrives to spend 
something, they have nothing. 

Mere ghar se agi lain, nam dhara baisandh ! She 
brought the ag or fire from my house, and now calls 
it baisandh ! The last word is another and a bigger 
and unusual term for fire. The proverb has reference 
to people who are helped and advanced in the world 
by the kindness of others, and afterwards carry their 
heads high before those very people who have helped 

Shauqin burhf a, chat af ka lahanga. An old woman 
fond of finery with a petticoat of mats on her ! .This 
means people who live above their means. 

Aphi miyan mangte, bhat khare darbar ! The poor 
fellow is himself a beggar, and yet a bard is standing 
at his door ! We have a class of bards here, who 
besides having some other ways of supporting them- 
selves wait on great men, repeat something and flatter 
them to get something. It is used when one asks 
some help of another, who is himself helpless. 

Ag lagae pani ko daure. One first sets fire and then 
runs for water. It means one who first raises a 
quarrel or makes a disturbance, and then pretends to 
prevent the mischief. 

Jogf kiske mittar aur paturia kiskf nar ! Whose 
friends are wandering faqueers, and whose wives are 
dancing women of the town ! Meaning people of this 

[ 216 ] 

character are no one's friends and wives, and are never 
to be trusted. 

Ranr kf ganth men m^l ka tank. A widow has 
always a piece of catgut tied in one end of her upper 
covering or sheet. Widows generally spend their time 
in spinning, and the catgut is the string which they 
use in turning the wheel. They always have a piece 
of it about them ready for use in case the old one 
should break. The proverb means, that a person 
who is addicated to a thing has it always about him ; 
as chewers of tobacco, users of opium, <fec, constantly 
have these things with them. 

A'nkhon ke andhe nam nainsukh ! Blind and yet 
named Nainmkh, which means happy of eyes / The 
application is obvious. 

Korhi mare sanghati chahe ! A leper dies and 
wants another to accompany him ! Sometimes, when 
the suiferings of lepers become intolerable, they drown 
themselves in rivers. This proverb is used when one 
gets into trouble and wishes another to be in the 
same state. 

Samai pare ki bat, bus par jhapte bagula ! Alas ! it 
is a question of time and chance, when a heron pounces 
upon a hawk ! They say so, when one originally 
poor or mean insults another who was formerly 
in better circumstances, but has been somehow or 
other been reduced. 

Kya ham ranr ki bahuen hain 1 What am I a 
daughter-in-law of a widow % Widows are helpless and 
cannot redress the wrongs done to their families. 
When a person says so, he means, — am I not strong 

[ 217 ] 
enough to protect myself and maintain my cause ! 

Jharberi ke jangal men billi sher ! A cat is a 
lion in a jungal of small bushes ! When a person gets 
into the company of people that are somewhat 
inferior to him in any way, he carries himself high 
among them and tries to make them believe he is 

Kunjfi apne ber ko khatta nahin kahti, A woman 
that sells fruit and vegetables will never call her 
plums sour. People always praise their own things. 

Unt ktf chori nihure nihure ! What stoop down to 
steal a camel as if he could be carried off in one's 
<arms 1 Those people are very foolish who wish to do by 
stealth what can never be concealed. 

Lashkar men unfw£ badnam ! A camel has got a 
bad name in a Camp or Army ! The reason of this is 
that he makes a great noise when he is loaded. This 
is used when people are prejudiced against a man 
and always blame him, whether he be deserving of the 
blame or not. 

Eahe se kumhar gadhe par nahin charhti A potter 
never rides an ass when he is asked to do so. Asses 
are considered unclean, and potters (who belong to 
•one of the lowest castes) use them to carry fuel to 
feake their earthen vessels. They very often ride these 
animals, — though people of other castes (except 
washermen) would never dream of doing so. People 
say so mostly whe'n a person is asked to do some- 
thing for the diversion of company, and he does not 
do it, though at other times he does it of his own 


[ 218 ] 

J ah an jaisa des, 

Tahan taisa bhes. 
We must adopt the costume of the country in which 
we live. — We must do like those among whom we are 

Samp nikal gaya, lakir pi'te se kya hot& hai. The 
snake has crept away ; what is the use of beating tha 
mark or track which it has left. There is no use in 
trying for or about a thing when it is too late. 

Laton ki deb' baton se nahin mantfn ! Goddesses 
that are accustomed to kicks will not listen to kind 
persuasion. People of a perverse nature will not be 
governed by kindness. 

Sab dhan bais hi paseri ! Every kind of paddy is 
reckoned at twenty two passeries per rupee ! A 
p<merie is about ten pounds in weight, and the rate 
of the paddy in this proverb is an extremely cheap 
one. It is used when a person makes no discrimina- 
tion or distinction between people, especially with re- 
gard to their talents, but thinks or takes all alike. 

Jo kahe so ghi ko jae ! He must go for clarified 
butter who recommends it. The origin of this pro- 
verb is supposed to be this. — Once a man had dressed 
his food, consisting of cakes and dal or soup of pulse, 
but had put no ghee in the latter ; somebody near 
him said, it would be much better if he got some. — 
The man rejoined, will you kindly run and get me a 
little ! It is applied when a person recommends or * 
suggests a thing, and is himself asked to do it by the 
man to whom he made the suggestion, though the man 
could easily do it himself. 

[ 2T9 ] 

Andhe ke age rowe, 

Apne dida khowe. 
He who weeps before a blind man, only hurts his 
eyes, and gets no benefit. The blind man is not sup* 
posed to know that any one is weeping before him. 
This is used when a serious request or complaint is 
made before one who pays no attention to it* 

Larkit bagal men, 4 nm 4 nor « shahar men ! The 
child is in the lap but the crier is giving notice of its 
loss in the city ! They say so, when one makes a 
great fuss in looking out for a thing when it is close 
to him. 

Jis kh&tir munf muraya*, 
So dukh age aya. 
He has fallen into that very trouble, to avoid which 
he had shaved himself. Shaving, which is an import- 
ant rite among the Hindoos, is not to be taken here 
literally. It means making efforts to escape some 
trouble or inconvenience. This proverb is used when 
people wish and try to avoid something, but still it comes 
tipon them. 

Apni galf men kutta" bariar. Every dog is bold in 
his own lane. This is used when a man shews off 
his importance and authority or is overbearing in his 
place or department. 

Musafir chain jata hai, kutte bhtinkte rahte hain. 
Dogs bark but the traveller quietly goes on his way, 
without minding them. They say so, when a person 
seeks occasion to quarrel with some one, but does not 

Kisi ka ghar jale, kisi ko tapne ko ho ! — One's 

[ 220 ] 

bouse is on fire, and some are warming themselves 
with it. Sometimes people take advantage of the 
troubles of others. 

Man changA to kafchauti men Gang& ! When a man 
lias health, the water of his eating dish is the holy 
Ganges to them. All states can be enjoyed with 

Ek to rowas! thi, tab tak bhaiya & gae ! — She was 
ready to weep of herself, just at that time her brother 
arrived from a distance, and she wept the more freely. 
This proverb has allusion to the custom of the weep- 
ing of women when they see a relation or friend who 
has come from a distance. It is used when a person 
is in some trouble and that trouble is, heightened by 
something taking place just at the time^ 

Sach kahun to ma mar khae ; jhtith kahun to bap 
kutta khae ! If I say the truth, my mother will get 
* beating ; if I hide it, my father will eat dog's flesh ! 
The origin of this proverb is said to be the following. 
Once a fiery -tempered husband brought some meat 
and desired his wife to dress it for their dinner. The 
woman took the meat and put it away. While she 
was engaged in something else, a cat came and ate 
it up. When the woman discovered this, she was fill- 
ed with terror as she knew her husbaud's temper. To 
save herself from a severe beating, she killed a puppy, 
which was running about in the streets, and dressed 
its flesh instead of the meat her husband had brought; 
They had a boy who saw this. He was anxious to 
prevent his father's eating the dog's meat, and at the 
same time afraid for his mother. He was in a great 
difficulty and ib said to have expressed the words of 
this proverb. It i# used when people are caught 

t 221 ] 

between two evils, and cannot escape the one, without 
falling into the other. 

A'gi to lagi, dia barke dekhna ! The house is on 
fire, and yet one says, light a candle to look out for 
a thing. They say so, when people wish for more 
light or proof in a matter which is self-evident and 
attended with loss too. 

Nanga khare bazar men chor balaian le. — A desti- 
tute vagabond standing in the market is loved by a 
thief. Loved is not to be taken here literally; it 
simply means that the thief takes no notice of him 
in his professional capacity, because he has nothing 
with him that can be stolen. The proverb means, 
that the poor need not be afraid of thieves* 

Parae dhan par rowe chor ! A thief weeps to get 
»the property of another. Meaning envy and covetous - 

Andhe ko kya* chahiye, do ankhen. "What does a 
blind man want but two eyes ! This is said when 
one is asked to take a thing that he really wants, 

Sajhe ki handi chaurahe men phuttf hai. An earth- 
en pot between two or more persons (who are going 
any where) must be broken where four ways meet. 
Here the persons are supposed to take different 
directions, and the earthen pot to be divided, that 
each may have his share. When two or more persons 
have the same thing between them, it generally pro- 
duces quarrels and disagreements, and the arrangement 
has at last to be broken up. 

Mitha mi'thu gap, karwa karwa thd ! Swallowing 


[ 222 ] 

down the sw;et, but rejecting the bitter ! When we 
derive an advantage from something, we must also 
bear the inconveniences and troubles with which it 
may be attended. 

Ham Ram japni ; 
Paraya mal apna. 
Repeating Ram Ram (worshipping) and yet taking 
another's property ! Applied to hypocrities. 

Bap mara, ghar beta bhaya ; 
Iska tuta us men gaya. 
The father is dead, but a son is born ; and the 
loss of the former is made up in the birth of the lat- 
ter ! They say so, when at the time of a loss, there 
comes a gain too, which makes it up. 



Sports of Kriflhan, one of the Hindoo gods, with the women 
of the place and neighbourhood where he was born — A young 
wife lamenting the absence of her husband — &c — &c — &c. 

These songs have lost their beauty and fluency in 
translation and have become quite flat and insipid ; 
still we give them a place here, with the hope that 
they will in some measure help in the object of this 
work. The great and engrossing subject of the vast 
majority of them is love. They amount to some hun- 
dreds ; but we only give a few as specimens. Most 
of them are very short, but the same words are sung 
over and over again with varying notes, and this 


[ 223 1 

makes tip for their shortness. The first five are among: 
those that have reference to the amours of Krishan, 
one of the Hindoo incarnations, born in Mathoont. 
This and the neighbouring places, which are connected 
with the life of Krishan are considered sacred by ther 
Hindoos, and visited by them as such* He was a herds- 
man and one of the most infamous characters the 
world ever saw. He used to sport with the women of 
these places. 

The English language is so very poor with regard 
to terms for husband and wife that we have been at a 
loss how to render all the Hindee words on this point 
and been obliged to retain some of them. The simpler 
words husband and wife are too harsh and coarse fof ' 
poetry, besides the fault that would be found in their 
constant repitition. 


My Sdmalid (1) is in Bindrdban ! (2) I sought 
him every where ; but could not find him. My 
Sdmalid is in Bindrdban I I wandered in jungles 
from morning to evening ; but could not find the 
place of my Hur. My Sdmalid is in Bindrdban I 

Oh I Shdm unkind has broken my pitclier at the 
water place ! (3) When I left the house m the morning 
to draw water a crow cawed on the house ; I saw a 
cat on my right and heard a sneeze on my left : these 
were bad omens. Oh t Shdnt unkind has broken 

1 Somalia, Shdm, Hur, and a good many others are names of 
Krishan. Some of them also now mean a husband. 

2 Bindrdban and Gokool are two villages near his birth place. 

3 Broken her pitcher in the act of sporting with her. The song 
is expressive of pleasure. 

[ 22 ± ] 

my pitcher at the water place ! When he caught 
hold of my wrist, he broke my ring (round the wrist.) 
I never heard such a flute as his ! (4) Oh ! Sham un- 
kind has broken my pitcher at the water place. 


Sham is playing the flute on the banks of the KaU 
indree. The sweetness of its notes has made me lose 
my senses and agitated my whole frame. 0, Alee, (5) 
I am afraid of my Saus and Nanad ! (6) Tell me, 
Beer, what shall I do ! He has practised some charm 
on me ; such is this herdsman ! Alee, I am tor- 
mented with love. Sajnee ! all my choonaree (sheet) is 
wet with tears. Oh 1 is there any one to take away 
this pain of my heart. Sham is playing the flute on 
the banks of the Kdlindree 1 


Your form dwells in my heart, 0, Mohan ! I have 
sought you in jungles and e\ ery other place. I search- 
ed for you in Gokool and wandered in Bindrabanv 
Y our form dwells in my heart ! 


Do not throw upon me coloured water, 0, Sham Be- 
haree ! (7) Do not trouble me a so early. 1 have a rope 
and a pitcher in one arm and a heavy vessel on my head. 
0, Girdhur, let me go and put these away, and then you 
can discharge at me the squirt of coloured water. 0, 
do hear me, and wait a little ; you will spoil my inner 

4 Krishan used to play Well on the flute. 

5 Alee, Beer, Sakhee, Sajnee, &c, are terms by which women 
are addressed in poetry. 

6 Afraid of her Saus and Efanad (her mother-in-law and hua* 
band's sister) else she would sport freely with Krishan. 

7 In the Holee festival people throw coloured water on each 



[ 225 X 

coat and wet all my choonaree ; and if my Nanad see 
me in this state, she will be enraged ; my mother-in- 
law will also call me a thousand names ; and all the 
people will think ill of me and blame m& 

I am in my bloom now ; oh ! when shall T see my 
Love ! (8) When a branch dries and withers, how 
will it be green again. My dear one is gone away, 
and my tears flow in streams* /' am in my bloom 
now ; oh / when shall I see my Love I 

dyer, dye my/ choonaree ; (9) dye my choonaree andmyt 
Love's turban yellow ; and take the cost from my Love. 
dyer, dye my choonaree and my Zove-s>turban ydlow I 


Syedn (10) has acted unfaithfully to me and loved a 
Saut I He came to me in the morning from the Saut 
and with sweet words took my heart and deceived me, 
Syedn has acted unfaithfully to me and loved a Saut ! 


O Peed, I can only think of thee t Nothing else- 
can give me delight. Sajnee ! Peea is mine and I 
am his. (11) Oh ! my heart is taken up with him. My 
hair hangs all loose over my shoulders and my body is 
covered with ashes. Q, Peed, I can only think of 
thee ! (12) 

8 Love — her husband ; he was absent from her. 

9 Choonaree, the dyed linen with which women cover them* 
selves. The colour mentioned here indicates love. 

10 Syedn, Peed, and some others, are the poetical names for a 
husband. Saut means a rival wife.. 

11 Compare with Songs of Solomon, Ch. II. 16. VL 3. 

12 Her husband was absent from her. 

[ 226 ] 


Sing in this garden, 0, Sond (parrot} of my Naihar: 

(13) This Sona has green wings and a red bilL Sing 
in this garden. 0, Sond of my Naihar I 

XL \ 

I have last my ring here ! My Sas hafr not taken 
it ; nor my Nanad, 0, Love, you got it made and 
you stole it*. / have lost my ring Iiere ! (14) 

I mil not go 0, Somalia, to thy garden. What is 
found in thy garden % There is love and sport. J 
wUl not go Q, Samalia, to- thy garden I (15) 

XIII. : 

The leaves of the Poorain wave gracefully, being moved 
by the gentle breeze 1 The easterly wind gently blows, 
(16) and all theSakhees are fast asleep. My Love is 
so very awkward that he does not wake when. I try 
to wake him. The leaves of the Poorain wave grace* 
fully, being moved by the gentle breeze I 


Why do you leave our country, covetous Love ! (17) 

13 Naihar — her birthplace, i. e. where her parents live. Sht 
sometimes thinks of her former home. 

14 The song implies sport with the husband. 
15> The song is expressive of blandishment* 

16 The easterly wind: — in the rainy season, which is a peculiar 
time for love. When the raivs set in after the fierce hot season* 
the whole face of Nature is changed ;: a new life is> as it were, 
infused into it, and man also feels and enjoys the happy change. 
The wind that generally blows in the rainy season is the easterly 
one ; it is cool and brings on rain. 

17 Here the husband is going abroad on business and intends to 
be absent from home for some time. Covetous is not to be taken 
here in a literal and serious sense. 



[ 227 ] 

The mangoes are now ripe, and also the mahooas (18) 
There are lemons too in our country. When the le- 
mons have begun to have juice in them, Syean leaves 
his country for a foreign one. Wfty do yoy, leave -our 
country, covetous Love J 


Syean, Sdwun (July) has black and yellow clouds 1 
You have not thought of me since you left home. 
You have not thought of paying me a visit. Syedn, 
S&wun has black and yellow clouds J 


0, Love, I would sacrifice myself to yon ,* when will 
yon show yourself to me 1 0, Madho, the lov« of 
a foreign woman is like warming yourself with the 
blaze of straw. Were she even to take out her liver 
and give it to you, she would not be yours, (you could 
not depend upon her.) Oh ! that I would take 
poison and die ; then this pain would be over. I 
made a boat of eight pieces of timber (19) and sunk it 
in the middle of the stream. 0, Madho, had I been 
a koyal (20) of the forest, I would have lived in a forest 
and sung to my Love. Swear to me now by Bindra-. 
ban and Gokool, 0, Madho, that you will, in future, 
be faithful to me. 0, Love, I would sacrifice myself 
to you ; when will you shew yourself to me. 

■ ■ ■ i i i ■■ i ■ it 

18 Mahooas, — sweet flowers of a tree (Bassia latifolia.) 

19 Eight pieces of timber. — This has allusion to the marriage 
•contract. These words in the original are " £th krfth," and &th 
(eight) is put with kltth (wood) only for euphony. 

20 Koyal, a black bird which sings in loud, clear, and beautiful 
notes in mangoe groves from March to September. The Hindoos 
•say, it sings, " Pee kahan! Pee kahan !" where'* my Pee,-where'§ 
my Pee ; — Pee meaning husband. 


[ 228 ] 

I sink under the Sarhee (21) I wear, and in the 
perfume I inhale ! The necklace of the Chamelee 
^Jasminnon, grandiflorum) is too heavy for me ; you 
know, Peed, how delicate I am ! O Peea, you can- 
not know all about me ; I am a mine of love and my 
hands are soft like the rose ! What shall I say of 
other ornaments, the very moohdvjur (22) for my feet m 
too heavy for me i 

I was glad when I left my parents and was going to 
live with my husband. The lamp with four wicks (23) 
was lighted. But soon had I reason to sigh and think 
hard of my father. My case was like that of a sorry 
Baniya whose store of sugar has been exhausted and 
there is no prospect of a fresh supply. how have 
I offended the holy "Gauges that my youth is to be 
wasted with such a partner ! 


The sky is covered with thick and dark clouds ; the 
lightning flashes, and I am terrified ! O Sakhee, be* 
Beech my Love to return, else I will rend the paper 
that joined us. The time, when he promised to re* 
turn, is nearly out. My hearts emotion is towards 
the Jumna, from which direction I expect him. If 
he does not come soon, I will lay aside my ornaments 
mid become a wanderer with dishevelled hair ! 

21 Sarhee — along and light piece of linen, which serves as a 
dress for women. 

22 Moohawur, — a red colour with which women stain the 
nails of their toes and the upper part of their feet. In this song 
a beautiful woman is proud of her slender and delicate make and 
her beauty. 

23 Four wicks. — Among other joyful demonstrations, weal- 
thy and respectable Hindoos sometimes light four lamps or a 
lamp with four wicks, when a young wife comes, into her hus- 


[ 229 ] 


In Asarh (June) sleeps a good, affectionate, and 
beautiful woman, dreaming all sorts of dreams. Her 
husband is for away from her. (24) The lightning 
flashes and gives her double pain. Black clouds hang 
all around and the eastern wind gently blows. Do 
not sing so constantly, 0, Koyal ; you remind me of 
my Love, and I am in pain on account of this sepa- 
ration from him. The peacock enlivens the forest 
with its loud notes, and every thing conspires to grieve 
me. Woe to him that knows the secret pangs of dis- 
appointed love ! my dear husband my pride is gone 
down now, and I am in pain as you are so far from 
me ! 

The month of Asarh says, Sakhee, I am not to 
blamed for this separation. Why didst thou not take 
advantage of the time when thy husband was with 
thee ! Do not blame me ; he loved thee, but thou 
wast too proud to take notice of him. foolish 
woman, what hast thou gained by thy pride : thou 
hast oftended thy husband and brought on this sepa- 
ration. Thou hast thought of him now, when thou 
seest thick dark clouds oovering the skies ! 

band's house for the first time. Here a young wife is lamenting 
her lot — that of being married to an old husband. 

24 The Hindoos have a sort of songs, called the Barrfmasees, or 
songs of the twelve months, the main scope of which is a faithful 
and affectionate wife's lamenting the absence of her husband, 
with allusions to the different seasons of the year and the customs 
observed in them. The husband is generally supposed to be absent 
on public duty or business, and that from a long time. In this 
song, which is a Baramasee, disagreement between the husband 
and the wife is the cause of the absence. We have given here 
only three months ; the song goes on in the same strain through- 


[ .230 ] 

The month of Sawun (July) is approaching, and my 
tears flow fast. Oh ! I would be satisfied were I to 
see my Peea again. Sawun is a peculiar month, and 
O Peea, how pleasant is the season of the Teej. (25) 
Were you here, I would have reposed with you -with 
a necklace of the Champa* (Michelia Champaca.) All 
women swing (26) enjoying the affections of their 
husbands, and I alone am in pain on account of this 
separation. Those who are loved by their Peeas enjoy 
themselves with choonarees (sheets) died with koosoom. 
(27) But, alas ! what is the state of my heart ! 
Sawun leaves me in pain. 

The mcnth of Sawun says, Sakhee, thou wast 
thyself to be blamed partly ; besides, — who can with- 
stand Him who has written so in thy fate ! Think of 
thy husband constantly, and perhaps he will favour 
thee yet. 

The night of Bhadon (August) is so dark that one can- 
not see even his own hand. The whole world seems 
desolate without the presence of my Love. In Bhadon 
the object of my affections is not at home ; where shall 
my love light ! Oh ! carry me to that land where 
my beloved is gone. The night is dark and the pain 
of separation great ; how shall I go upon my bed ! 
These Koklas (28) seem to be against me, as they sing so 
constantly and remind me of the desire of my heart. 
Oh ! how long must I bear this affliction. The holi- 
day of Nag Panchamee (29) is come, and all women 

25 Teej — a festival noticed before, observed only by women. 

26 Women amuse themselves by swinging during the greater 
pa"t of the rainy season. They also sing when swinging. 

27 Koosoom — a flower with which cloths are dyed red. 

28 Kokla — a bird which sings beautifully. 

29 Nag Panchamee. — This festival takes place in the rainy 
season and is celebrated with the worship of snakes. 


who are with their husbands are engaged in worship ; 
but I wander about consulting Pandits. (30) This 
pain is extreme : Oh ! Love give me ease ! The 
month of Bhadon is also now taking its leave ; how 
can I be happy without the object of my affections ! 



Astrologer consulted — Things taken — Ponies and conveyances 
—Time of starting — What they do on the way — Begging Fa- 
queers — Things — Two anecdotes — A trick of highway rob- 
bers — 'Travelling much safer now — Principal macadamized road 
— Halting and refreshment about nooa — start again — Native 
Inns — Inn keepers — Travellers in a Sarae or Inn — Scenes in 
Saraes — Travellers reported to the Police — The same cautioned 
— Watchmen sometimes paid a trifle — Travelling on branch- 

When a Hindoo wishes to set out on a journey,* he 
always asks of his priest whether the time is auspi- 
cious, and does not commence the journey till he is 
told that it is so. Thousands of people that are too 
poor to have a conveyance travel on foot, and these 
people keep themselves as light as possible. A brass- 
jug (lo^a) with a long string attached to it, rolled into 
a ball, a brass-plate (thalee,) and a small iron circular 
plate (tawa,) with something to spread under them, and 
a quilt or blanket to cover themselves, if it be the cold 
season, and the suit of clothes that they have on them, 
is all that they take ; but if they are going on a jour- 
ney and intend to remain there a good while, they 

30 Consulting Pandits or Priests to know about her husband's 
health and the probable time of his return. 

[ 232 ] 

take all their clothes with them. Many of these 
pedestrious travellers can go forty miles a day, and a 
few somewhat more. People that travel in convey- 
ances and on horse-back sometimes take a "few things 
more with them. Very few natives go on journies in 
palanquins and litters, and almost none on elephants 
and camels. Palanquins and elephants are used in 
wedding processions. 

The things and animals, that are commonly used in 
carrying travellers, are horses, ponies, and bahlees, 
(drawn by bullocks,) and in a part of the country the 
Ekka, a vehicle drawn by a horse or a pony. These 
horses and ponies (for about three fourths of these ani- 
mals are of the latter kind) are generally of a common 
breed and very strong ; one of these animals will carry 
a big heavy bundle, and a rider (and perhaps a fat one 
too) for about twenty four miles a day. The Bahlee 
is roomy enough for three or four persons, and is gen- 
erally drawn by two bullocks. This conveyance is kept 
by m,ost of those who are possessed of means, and 
considering the somewhat clumsy manner in which it 
is made, is a strong proof of the great tenacity with 
which natives adhere to their old ways ; this is more 
remarkable when we consider, that many who have 
these rough vehicles are possessed of immense wealth 
and are aware of the superiority of European carri- 
ages. The driver of the Bahlee sits near the voke of 
the bullocks, and the rider in the middle, under the 
canopy, which has screens all around. The screens are 
alwavs let down when there is a female traveller in 
the Bahlee, otherwise they are thrown up, unless the 
weather be rainy or the sun be too powerful and 
strike in. In this conveyance the traveller puts his 
most necessary things, such as, one or two lotas, a 
thalee and one or two suits of clothes. When a Bah- 

[ 233 J t 

lee is a gentleman's own property, the bullocks that 
pull it are always of a superior breed, are well taken 
care of, and go about twenty four miles a day. Those 
that have occasion to hire one, pay about twelve annas 
a day, about one half of which goes to feed the driver 
and the bullocks. 

Travellers generally start in the morning or at day 
break, except in the hot season, when they begin to 
move at one or two a. m., and sometimes even at 
night fall, and continue to travel all the night ; but 
when they do so, there are generally four or five of 
them or at least more than one, because travelling 
alone in the night is dangerous even on the main road. 
After going four or five miles travellers stop at some 
well to wash their hands and faces, as well as to smoke ; 
this last is so necessary, that they always carry their 
lwokas with them and in the course of their journey 
in the day halt at every four or five miles to have this 
solace. Begging faqueers on the road provide them 
with fire and get a few cowries in return. These men 
call themselves faqueers or religious mendicants, and 
begging as well as supplying travellers with fire, is* 
their regular way of making their living. This class 
is so numerous on the high way, that the ears of tra- 
vellers, especially of respectable one's, are frequently 
assailed with their petitions, or good wishes as they 
call them, and some of them even take the trouble of 
following Bahlees to phort distances with the hope of 
obtaining a trifle from the rider. There have been 
cases, in which Thugs (a class of murderers) have dis- 
guised themselves as mendicants and given travellers 
stupifying and poisonous drugs mixed with smoking to- 
bacco, and after the death of the latter have ma'de off 
with their things. On this account, travellers are 
.obliged to be extremely cautions and not receive any 

T T 


tobacco from a stranger, and they also hare to take 
care that they do not fall in with any stranger on the 
way, who might probably kill them by some means 
or other. In some parts of the country there are 
wells with wide mouths and steps to the bottom. At 
the mouths of these wells, called Baulees, there are 
two or three rooms for the convenience of travellers. 
Kobbers used in former times to conceal themselves 
in these rooms and when single travellers came to the 
well for water, they caught and killed them, and 
threw their bodies somewhere where they could not be 
observed. On the macadamized road, that leads to 
Agra, between this place and Minepoory there is a 
tank, called BoorhiA ka tal or the old woman's tank, 
which is well known to natives in the North West 
Provinces. In the middle of this tank (which how- 
ever gets dry in the hot season) is a large substantial 
house with cellars and a bridge that leads to the 
shore. In this house in former times, lived an old 
woman, with her sons, who were Thugs or treacherous 
robbers by profession. On one of the banks along 
which the road runs, there is a large and old tree, 
under which travellers used to stop for awhile to 
refresh themselves ; or when they were not inclined 
to stop, were invited by the old woman to do so ; here 
by fair speeches she used to beguile them and ask 
them to smoke, she always providing the tobacco. The 
tobacco had some stupifying drug in it, and the tra- 
vellers soon used to become senseless ; when this was 
the case, the old woman's sons came and removed 
.them to the house, where they used to be killed and 
thrown into the cellars which were full of water. In 
course of time, they were detected and brought to 
justice, but their house still stands in the middle of 
the tank, and reminds travellers of the horrid deeds 
that used to be perpetrated there. Thousands of 

[ 235 ] 

these Thugs have been exterminated by the British 
Government, but there are some still found here and 
there. These Thugs will follow a traveller for days 
until they get an opportunity to kill him. Once a 
traveller who was known to have some money with 
him was followed by Thugs for more than two hund- 
red and sixty miles ; the former was wide awake and 
was always on his guard, never smoking their tobacco 
nor being familiar with them. They pretended to be 
fellow travellers, but he knew what they were. At last he 
got near home, though the Thugs did not know that ; 
and while all were sitting in a Baniyas shop in the 
fore-noon to get some refreshments the man pretend- 
ed to go out for a few minutes, of course with his 
things ; but he crossed a few fields and safely arrived 
at home. Another man was in like manner followed 
by these wretches and killed. Once a woman with 
her little boy and some money and jewels was pursued 
for some time by two women that were Thuggins. 
They pretended to be travellers and always remained 
in company with this woman, who used to give them » 
now and then part of her food as ddl and cakes or 
rice. It was observed by the boy, that they ate the 
cake or rice that was given them, but dal (which has 
always salt put in it at the time of being cooked,) was 
always thrown away. He suspected they were Thug- 
gins and said so his mother. The dal they threw 
away, because they believed, it would be a great sin 
to kill a person whose salt (namak) they had eaten ; 
this would have been namak hardmee or ingratitude. 
In the safaes or inns the woman used to take a sepa- 
rate room from the Thuggins. Once the latter 
thought they had an opportunity to despatch the wo- 
man, and in the darkness of the night, when 
all had retired, and they thought the woman was 
asleep too, one of them took a dagger and softly stole) 

[ 236 ] 

towards her, got upon her, and wanted to use the 
dagger ; but the woman immediately got hold of it 
and the Thuggin and cried out. The Thuggin tried 
hard to get away, but could not, some of the fingers 
of the woman were severely cut by the dagger. People 
instantly came to her help, and secured the Thuggins. 

We have a vast number of crows about our towns 
and villages, which roost at night on trees adjoining 
human habitations. These crows begin to stir and 
make a noise at day break. In sanies travellers have 
their cawing as a sign of the approach of day, and as 
soon as they hear them making a noise, bestir themselves 
to start for the day. These birds also fly about and 
make a good deal of noise if they are disturbed at any 
hour before day break. Highway robbers sometimes 
disturb them at midnight ; travellers are deceived by 
their noise and think it is near day break and begin 
their day's journey without keeping together. When 
they are well dispersed on the w T ay and have got pret- 
ty far from the sarae, one or more of them are attack- 
ed by robbers, who are always watching an opportunity. 

Travelling was most dangerous, even in the day time, 
under the former Governments ; there was a large 
number of jungles, almost all of which were infested 
with robbers who were always on the alert to rob and 
kill all those travellers who had the hardihood to tra- 
vel alone. But it is one of the chief glories of the 
British nation to make roads throughout the country, 
and clear it of all those dangerous jungles that lie on 
these public roads. The principal macadamized road 
that they made runs east and west for several hun- 
dreds of miles ; it commences at Calcutta and runs to the 
most westerly of those provinces that are under their 
Government in as straight a line as they have been 

t 237 ] 

able to make it. In many place3 it has trees planted 
on both sides for the convenience of travellers in the 
hot season. This road may be daily seen traversed by 
thousands of travellers. But travelling in certain 
parts of Southern India it not quite so safe even in 
the present day, which is owing to certain parts of it 
being subject to some native princes, who never trouble 
themselves much about clearing the country of robbers^ 

Travellers halt for some time for rest and refresh- 
ment during the middle of the day under topes of 
trees which abound in a great part of the country- 
At this time sotne of them dress their victuals, the mate- 
rials for which they procure from a Baniya ; but the 
most of them satisfy themselves with a portion of 
parched grain, which also they get from Baniya's. In 
the hot season, as we have said before, they begin to 
march earlier and halt also before the sun gets to ita 
meridian ; and mo3t of them , having finished their 
stage in the forenoon, do not travel at all in the 1 
afternoon ; but when they do so, they reach their 
stopping place about four p. m. In the cold season,, 
the days being short, they stop only for a very 
short time in the middle of the day, and do not 
travel at night. After certain short haltings for 
smoking and resting for a few minutes, they arrive 
near the end of their course for the day, when they 
begin to think of getting into a sarao or inn for the* 
night. There are hundreds of these saraes on the 
main road at short distances, for the greater con- 
venience of travellers, some of them built by Govern- 
ment and others by private individuals. Saraes on. 
those roads that branch off from the main road are not 
generally at such short distances because there are 1 
much fewer travellers on them. A sarae is a very; 
large and sometimes a square yard built on cne side of 

[ 238 ] 

the road with small single rooms on all sides. Some- 
times these rooms have verandahs. There are also 
a few trees in each sarae under which horses and bul- 
locks, and conveyances are kept. These rooms of the 
whole sarae are given out by the owner of the Estab- 
lishment to a class of people, called Bhuttiyaras, vrho 
may be styled hosts or landlords, whose duty it is to 
keep the place clean and in good order. Whenever a 
traveller enters the gate of a sarae, almost the whole 
set of them, men and women, but especially the latter, 
may be seen moving to him and inviting him by res- 
pectful titles to their respective rooms. While they 
are bawling, the traveller looks around to see which 
part of the sarae is the cleanest and the most conve- 
nient with regard to shade and a well, and 
at last fixes upon a room to the joy of the Bhuttiyara 
to whom the place belongs, and to the disappointment 
of the others. However in all those Saraes that are 
on the main road, all the Bhuttiyaras get travellers. 
All these Bhuttiyaras are professors of the Mohomedan 
religion. They are looked down upon by other 
Moosulmans as a very low class, and are not allowed 
to intermarry with them. In fact, the Bhu{tiyaras 
are a distinct community of people ; all their cere- 
monies about marriages, births, and deaths, take place 
between people of their own calling. People have 
some just grounds for thinking them a degraded race* 
They are exceedingly quarrelsome. In the day time, 
while most of the men are out, the women fall out 
among themselves most dreadfully, and go on quarrel- 
ing and calling names for hours. Their quarrels ori- 
ginate principally from envy and malice that they enter- 
tain towards each other. When it is night, men and 
women begin to quarrel again, and continue to do so for 
hours sometimes, to the great inconvenience of tra- 
vellers. In the duties of a Bhuttiyara, the women 


[ 239 ] 

take a more active part than men, and the majority 
of them are among the most vulgar and shameless 
creatures in the country. 

As soon as a traveller has taken a room and put his 
bundle there, he thinks of getting some materials to dress 
his evening meal. There are always shops of Baniyas 
at the gate of the Sarae ; he goes to him and gets 
one or two pounds of ftour, some dal a little salt, and 
one or two chilies to put in the dal, and perhaps a 
little ghee or clarified butter. All this costs him 
about three or four pice. Curry stuffs, being too trou- 
blesome to be bruised, are not thought of in travelling. 
He next gets an earthen pot either from the Baniya 
or the Bhuftiyara, who buys them from potters and 
keeps them for travellers, getting a trifle by the sale, 
the price of a pot being about one fourth of a pice. 
The fuel, which consists of wood or dry cowdung cakes, 
he generally gets from the Bhuttfyara, who charges 
him for this either one fourth or one half of a pice 
according to the quantity or number that he takes. 
Fire places are generally made in the verandah of the 
Sarae ; the traveller use the one nearest to the room 
he has taken, and before he begins to cook, washes it 
first to remove the defilement of the preceding cook- 
ing. His simple food is dressed and eaten in about 
an hour. 

Each traveller takes a single room, unless he has 
a large establishment with him. When there are four 
or five travellers and none of them, has his family with 
him, one room answers for all. The usual rent that 
they have to pay for a room for one night is one pice ; 
but those that are too poor give only half a pice. 
Those that take a bedstead (they are not provided 
with beds) pay another pice for it ; but in general, 

[ 240 ] 

travellers can do very well without these bedsteads 
on account of the unpleasant company found in them. 

Our readers of the West will remember that the 
native travellers of this country consist of two great 
castes or religions, which are the Hindoo and the Mo- 
homedan ; they will .also recollect, that the religion 
of a Hindoo does not allow him to eat of anything 
that a Moosalman cooks ; and the Bhuttiyaras being 
of the Mohomedan religion, the Hindoos will not, of 
course, eat of anything that they cook ; they 
are therefore always obliged to dress their own victuals. 
But the Mohomedans get the Bhuttiyaras to cook for 
them ; on this account they are not obliged to burden 
themselves with cooking utensils ; in fact, a small cop- 
per plate, tinned, and a drinking pot or lota of the 
same metal, are the only things of this kind they car- 
ry with them ; and after getting into a Sarae, while 
the Hindoos have to busy themselves in dressing their 
food, the Mohomedans either lie down to rest or amuse 
themselves with smoking and the like. The quantity 
of flour and dal that each man orders for himself is 
about two pounds, of which the Bhuttiyarin (land- 
lady) is supposed to steal at least one third. The price 
that is paid for this quantity, with fuel and remune- 
ration for the Bhuttiyarins trouble comes to about 
three or four pice. 

A scene in a large Sarae would be most amusing to 
a traveller fresh from the West. He would see an 
extensive yard full of bahlees and waggons of burden, 
scores of bullocks, horses and ponies, and men of al- 
most every size and shape engaged in different ways 
Some with uncovered backs and heads making fire to 
dress their victuals, some of these calling out to the 
Bhuttiyarin to give them more fuel or complaining 

[ 241 ] 

that the cowdung cakes are not dry enough, others in 
the act of cooking, some brushing their bullocks, and 
others giving them gentle blows in quick succession 
to remove their fatigue, some greasing their wheels for 
the march of the next day, some lying down and sing- 
ing, some smoking and telling the occurrences of the 
day, and asking how far such a place is from such 
a one, and others engaged in some other ways. The 
noise and bustle continues for about three hours ; by 
this time it is about ten p. m., and most of the 
travellers have done feeding their bullocks and other 
animals, and cooking and eating, and now think of 
retiring for the night. These who take no bedsteads 
sleep on the floor after spreading a blanket or some- 
thing else on it. In the cold season, they sleep inside 
the rooms, and in the hot, outside in the verandah* 
When the Sarae has no gate to be locked at night, 
drivers of waggons and carriages have to sleep near 
their bullocks to take care of them. Some of them 
have long chains, which they use to secure their oxen 
whenever there is a great fear of thieves \ the middle 
of the chain is attached to the fore part of the Bahlee 
or waggon, and a padlock is used. Bullocks, horses, 
and camels are sometimes stolen. 

A little after dark all the Bhuttiyaras go to the 
Police, to report to the native officer there, the number 
of travellers that they have got, their names, the 
number and description of waggons and weapons that 
are with them, what religion they belong to, where 
they go to, <fec. All this information is entered in a 
book, and should any accident happen to a traveller, 
it serves as a clue to find out where his home is, from 
what place he is missing, and what is the probable 
cause of his non appearance. After this is noted down> 
the traveller is always reminded either by the BhuJ- 


[ 242 ] 

tiy»ra or one of the men of the Police to keep their 
money in a safe place, and not to receive any tobacco 
or anything to eat from a stranger, nor to form any 
acquaintance with him on the way. These are whole- 
some and necessary instructions, for many travellers have 
lost their lives by the deceit and violence of Thugs 
disguised as friendly travellers. 

One of the instructions, that travellers receive every 
night, is, not to keep any money in the same piece of 
cloth in which they have any food, because there are 
many wild dogs in a Sarae, which would in the night 
while the traveller might be asleep, run away with 
the piece of cloth for the sake of the food, and thus carry 
away the money too. This caution is also very 

One or two watchmen keep watch in the Sarae at 
night, and those travellers who have Bahlees and wag*- 
gons full of articles of merchandise and other things 
have generally to pay a trifle (about a pice) to the 
watchmen before they leave the place. 

People out in the country travelling from one vil- 
lage to another where there are no roads, go on foot- 
paths alongside of fields. Should the distance be 
greater than they can get over in one day's journey, 
they generally stop in the verandah of a Baniya and 
pay him something for this accommodation. 




The sacred language of India — Education never general in the 
country -—Education of Brahmins — The Dev Nagree character — 
Education of Chhattries — Of Vyshes or merchants — of Soo- 
dura — Mass of the people ignorant — Efforts of Government — 
Boys put in a School — Things taken with them — Mode of study 
— Hindee books read by people for amusement — Some authentic 
letters as specimens. 

The sacred language of India, as is well known, is 
the Sanskrit ; this is the tongue in which their reli- 
gious writings are penned ; even their ancient gram- 
mars and medical books, clothed in this garb, are be* 
lieved to be written by inspiration and held sacred. 
One or two classes next to the Brahmins are allowed 
by their religious writings to study it ; but they must 
on no account read the Veds their highest religious 
Scriptures. The golden age of this language, which 
is dead now, passed away with the time of the Hindoo 
kings. There is some efforts within the walls of Go- 
vernment Colleges to keep it in existence, but it is 
not thought of much value outside, and this is the 
reason that comparatively very few Brahmins exert 
themselves to acquire it. In fact, learned Brahmins, 
who have no other means of subsistence, are worse off 
than any other portion of the community with regard 
to a way of livelihood ; their talent is not in demand, 
and they have always to be very anxious about the 
means of -keeping their bodies and souls together. 
They are in some measure helped in their capacity of 
priests, and if they had not this aid, they would actu- 
ally starve. -As for as education is concerned, Per- 

[ 2« J 

»ian and English are the languages that are of great 
use to people under the present Government. 


Education has never been general in India ; the 
system of caste has raised a strong barrier against 
it, each caste has followed that mode of life which was 
prescribed for it by the Shasters, and till lately Brah- 
mins alone had the privilege of acquiring knowledge 
and cultivating their minds. 

There are many Brahmins all over the country, who 
pretend to know Sanskrit and are called Pandits - r 
but the aim of these men has never been to possess 
even a tolerable acquaintance with this language, to 
say nothing of being learned in it. They study a 
little of grammar, and after that learn only those 
things that will help them to perform the duties of a 
priest, this does not require learning and is soon ac- 
quired. In pooja or worship they have to repeat some 
verses, which are committed to memory ; these verses 
are so easy and few in number, and the rules prescribed 
for the office of a priest so simple, that even boys can 
act as priests. The character used by this body and 
learned men of this caste is called the Dev Rdgree, or 
the character of the gods; and certainly it deserves 
this name ; for considering the imperfection of every 
thing human, it is wonderfully perfect and unrivalled 
in the world. Each letter has its own sound, aud 
keeps it when put with others to make a -word. This 
is not the case with the English Alphabet, which Sir 
William Jones calls, " ridiculously imperfect." The 
Dev Nagree Alphabet consists of fifty letters, which 
are as follows : 

m ka, ^r kha, 3r ga, ^ gha, ^ nga. 
•^ cha, ^ chha, «T ja, W jha, ^T nya. 
7 t a > ? tha, 7 ^a,? dha, nr na. 

[ 2*8 ] 

W ta, * tha, ^ da, * dha, w na. 

T pa, ^| pha, ^ ba, n bha, ir ma. 

^ ya, ^ ra, ^ la, W va, "* sha, 

^ sha, q sa, ^ ha, ^f ksha. 
^ a, ^rr a\ x h ^ I, * u, * u ^ ri, ^ rf, *sr lri, 
^ Irf, * e, ^ ai, ^T o, 4>T an, ^| ang, ^: ah. 

The last sixteen are vowels, and twelve of them 
have another and simpler form also to be used in the 
middle of words and after consonants. 

Those Brahmins, who are not pandits and priests, 
but act as bankers or merchants, make use of one of 
two other characters that are common in this part of 
the country, and are called Kaithee and Mooriyd or 
Surrafee. The letters in all these three characters are 
named alike and differ only in form. 

Chhattries or people of the military caste, who learn 
any thing, mostly learn the Dev Nagree character, and, 
this chiefly for the purpose of reading the Ramayan, 
a long Epic poem, which describes the exploits of Ram 
Ohunder, a Chhattrie, believed to be an incarnation of 
the Deity. This poem, as said in a former part of* 
this work, was originally written in Sanskrit, but was 
rendered into Hindee verse by one their famous ancient 
poets. This translation has in the end been against 
the Brahmins ; for when the work was in the original, 
learned Brahmins were required to read and expound 
it, and thus they used to make large sums of money ; 
but now every Chhattrie, who knows the Dev Nagree 
character, can read it for himself. Those Chhattries, 
who act as merchants, learn the character used by 
that class. 

Baniyas or people of the merchant caste learn the 
Mooriyd or Surrafee character and arithmetic, which 

U u 

is all that is required in their work. The Mocrriya 
wants the vowels, and those who use this character 
carry on all their writing only with consonants. They 
have got a certain form for writing orders for money, 
and the amount they write in letters as well aria 
figures, and thus no mistakes take place ; else they 
would he soon compelled to adopt a better means of 

People of this caste, who act as sellers of eatables 
in a dry and unprepared state, cloth merchants and 
bankers, do not go very far in Arithmetic ; but they 
are very expert in what they do learn. They seldom 
take more than a minute to perform any arithmetical 
operation during the day in their commercial callings. 
The money, weights, and measures of the country 
consist of an even number of small portions or sub- 
divisions. Thus a country gold coin generally con- 
sists of sixteen rupees ; a rupee of sixteen annas ; an 
anna of four pice ; a pice of two dhelas ; a dhela of two 
chhadams ; a chhadam of two damrees ; and a dam- 
ree, generally of ten cowries or small shells, the lowest 
.piece in use. A maund is the largest weight in the 
country, and is equal to about eighty pounds. A 
maund consists of forty seers ; a seer of sixteen chit- 
tacks ; and a chittack of five country pice. In long 
measure, a yard consists of two cubits, and each cubit 
of eight girahs. Silver and gold weights are also even. 
If a Baniya or any other merchant sells a thing at 
one rupee per seer, that is exactly one anna per chittack, 
if at one anna per seer, that is one chhadam per 
chittack, <fcc. If the rates vary, and the price be above 
or below this, the fraction comes pretty even. We 
Have only one weight for solids and liquids, and no 
measure for the latter ; but the seer varies in weight 
in different parts of the country, and also in the sam? 

C 247 T 

part of the country, for different things ; for instance,* 
the seer that is used in weighing wheat is larger than 
that for raising, almonds, (fee. 

Those people of the caste of writers who do not 
learn Persian, but act as Hindee teachers, learn the 
Kaithee character ; though of late a good many of 
them have commenced to learn the Nrfgree also, the 
character in which Government publish their Hindee 
books for Schools. They use vowels in the Kaithee 
character ; but one great defect in this as well as the 
Mooriya is, that the words are not written separate, 
but all the letters run in one line as if they were sim- 
ply letters and contained no words. This causes a 
great difficulty in reading letters when they are writ- 
ten in a bad hand. People of all other castes, who 
learn to read and write, learn this character, in which 
they carry on all their business. 

As far as education is concerned, darkness covers 
the land and thick darkness the people. There are 
people who possess this most slender education of 
which -we speak ; but their number when compared* 
with the vast population of the country is really no- 
thing. When a letter arrives in a village, it takes 
some time before its contents are found out. A man 
has to carry it about in the village to have it read.; 
and very often is even obliged to go out of his 
village in search of a reader. Government are making 
most strenuous efforts all over the country for the 
diftusion of useful knowledge, and it is hoped most of 
this mental darkness will be dispelled in course of 

When a boy is intended to be put in a School, his 
father goes to a priest and asks him what time would. 


be most auspicious. After being directed on this 
point, the boy is taken to the teacher, who is told by 
the parent accompanying him, that he has brought 
this child for his service, and that he (the child) will 
through his life be extremely thankful should he, 
through the teacher's kindness, be able to acquire some 
knowledge ; and so forth. With regard to correction 
also, the parent generally tells the teacher, that the 
bones of the boy are his, that is, the father's ; but 
the flesh is his, that is, the teacher's ; which means 
that he may beat the child as often and as hard as he 
thinks it necessary ; this will be painful to the flesh 
and might reduce it, but its end will be beneficial ; 
and if the bones are left safe, that is, the child is left 
alive, they will soon clothe themselves with other flesh. 
This is of course understood by the teacher with great 

A wooden slate, a reed pen, and chalk bruised and 
mixed with water in his inkstand are a boy's three 
grand requisites. In the pure native fashion primers 
and reading books are not required, though these are 
now used in vernacular schools started by Government, 
All the education that Hindoo boys receive in Hindee 
Schools, supported by Hindoos themselves, consists in 
writing a tolerably decent hand, reading and writing 
letters, and performing arithmetical sums. The ac- 
quirement of general knowledge is not the aim ; in 
fact, that is not possessed by the teachers themselves ; 
thus they generally do away with books. 

With • regard to the mode of learning to read and 
write a character, the teacher writes three or four let- 
ters every day on the wooden state, till the learner 
knows their names and forms ; this he does soon. 
After this, it is not necessary for the teacher to write 

[ 24 9 ] 

for him, but he writes himself and the teacher makes 
corrections after he has once written the whole alpha- 
bet. Before he commences learning to write the 
alphabet, the teacher writes for him the prayer Onam 
Sidhang, or may I succeed in this matter. This pray- 
er is addressed to Ganesh, the god of learning and : 
all important undertakings. After a boy knows to 
write all the letters, he begins to put them together 
by writing the names of persons and things ; this 
he continues to do for some time, till he can write 
words with tolerable accuracy. Perfect accuracy is 
impossible in Hindee writing without studying the 
Sanskrit Grammar. Along with this, he learns also 
Arithmetic every day. After he has learnt the figures 
to a hundred or so, he commences the simple multipli- 
cation table, which he learns as far as forty the one 
way and ten the other. After he has mastered this, 
he takes up several sorts of multiplications pf frac- 
tions ; such as 1 J multiplied by 1,2,3, <fcc ; 1£ by 
1,2,3, <fcc. When all these are gone through he learns 
addition, and the rule of three ; but the latter is 
learnt by few, because their commercial arithmetical 
sum3 are done satisfactorily by the preceding rules. 
If a boy has genius and attends school regularly and the 
teacher is attentive to his duties, he will be able to read 
and write letters and perform necessary Arithmetical 
operations in about a year. But a vast number of holi- 
days and weddings, together with many instances of 
laziness and indifference in the student, interrupts his 
studies, so that it often takes two years, and some- 
times more, for him to be qualified for his work. 
Some boys leave school before they are fit for any 
thing. Boys of agriculturists aud mechanics are gen- 
erally required at home to help their parents in their 
respective callings, or to take care of their younger 
brothers and sisters while their mothers are engaged 

[ 250 ] 

m urgent household duties. In learning the multipli- 
cation table all of them join together and bawl ont ; 
and when writing on wooden boards, they rub a little 
of the chalk on their forheads with the superstitions 
hope that they will make rapid progress in their 

Boys of all castes except the Brahmin's, learn the 
Kaithee character, and are mostly taught by teachers of 
the writers' caste called Lallas. Brahmin boys, if they 
intend to be bankers or merchants, learn the Mooriya ; 
if priests, or pandits, that is, learned men, the Dev 
Kagree ; and are in this case taught by a Brahmin, 
who knows Sanskrit. Sanskrit students do not pay 
much attention to Arithmetic ; but devote themselves 
to the Sanskrit Grammar and some other Sanskrit 
books. The Sanskrit Grammar is treated of in the Sans* 
krit language. The mode of studying this language 
among the Hindoos is quite ridiculous, and requires 
a great waste of time and pains. When a boy is put 
to learn Grammar, he is made to commit the whole of 
it to memory without understanding a single word ; 
this takes him two or three years ; and much of this 
time and labour both of the teacher and scholar may 
be said to be utterly lost. After he has thus gone 
through the whole Grammar, he is taught its meaning,* 
the mode of which is also peculiar and retards the 
progress of the student. 

With regard to the original Hindee books that are 
commonly read by those who can read, they are com- 
paratively few in number. Some of them, as the 
Prem S?igur are portions of their sacred Writings ; 
but most of them consist of tales and fables. 

At the close of this subject we give a translation. 


of three or four authentic Hindee letters as specimens 
of Hindee epistolary correspondence. The first two 
were written by men of a common education in the 
Kaithee character, and the last two by Pandits or 
learned Brahmins in the Dev Nagree. 

Letter I. 
The Pflagun (worship) of Nurput Singh, Zdlim 
Singh, and Goolab Singh, to Runjeet Singh, Thdkoor. 
We are all well here. May the Gungnjee (the holy 
Ganges) always keep you well ! We are, it seems, 
considered enemies by you ; — not even one of our 
letters has been answered. If we were not considered 
so, you would have doubtless written to us. We are 
thought enemies. May not God be displeased. What 
can the displeasure of man do ! May God be pleased 
with us ! Man's displeasure is nothing ! May not 
God be displeased with us ! You can write to us if 
you are disposed to do so ; if not, you need not write. 
Our Ram Ram (salutation) to all the members of the 
families of Lallas Gokoolut Roy, Bidhee Chand, and 
Kishoon DayaL Our Ram Ram, blessing, salutation, 
and pailagee (worship) to all, both old and young. 

Letter II. 
Reverence to Ganesh our helper ! You are good 
and an example to others ! The Ram Ram of Heera 
Lall to Himmat Singh and all others, I am well 
here. May you be always well ! This will give me 
great pleasure. I have sent for you, a dartiya hand- 
mill and a slab in the waggon of Roy Singh of Talgram ; 
so send for them. I send a quilt belonging to Heeri 
Singh ; please send it to his house. If the mill and slab 
are sent to you, remember to pay the porter. Kindly 
send me a pair of dhotees by Asarh (June ;) do not for- 
get this ; I have no dhotees with me now. Write to 


ine if yon cannot send thein. I asked Baijnauth to take 
some money with him from me to buy yon some corn ; 
but he would not, but said, that he will get you corn, and 
that J could take the money when I go to see you. 
Has he got you the corn or not ? Let me know. 
The Ram Ram of Heera Lall to Sadho Singh, Bhajan 
Lall, Sada Sookh, Debee Parshad, Chiraunjee Lall, 
Rohun Singh, Daya Shunker, Har Parshad, and all 
others. If God will, I will pay you a visit towards 

Letter III. 
You are good and an example to others ! You are 
also learned. The respect of Lsilman Tribedee, to 
Oomadutt Shookool, Lall man, and Lalla. We are all 
well here, and always desire your health ; which gives 
us great pleasure. 

My sister is going to be married on the 2nd day 
of the dark part of Fagoon (February) and I beg yo 
will honour us by kindly sending to us Lalla, Annce, 
and Lalla's mother. We will pay the hire of the con- 
veyance here. 

Written on the 12th day of the light part of Magh, 
(January,) Saturday ; in the year 1902. 

P. S. We are all, well here. 

Letter IV. 

You are good and an example to others ! May you 

live long ! You are virtuous ! The blessing of Pandit 

Debee Deen on Lrillas* Jye Gopal and Ram Gopal and 

on all others, old and young. We are all well here. May 

* People of the Writers' and BaniyaV castes and also those 
Brahmins, who know only Hindee, are called Ldlla*. Brail- 

[ 253 ] 

the Doorga jee keep you well ; this would give me 
great pleasure. I received your letter ; but could not 
answer it, as I was in search of the things for which you 
wrote. I cannot find a copy of the Brij Bilas ; Singhii- 
san Batteesee I purchased for you long ago. So you 
have come back from Oomedpoor ; I am very glad 
that you are so near us now. I remember the promise 
that I made you ; the time is now come. The Singha- 
san Batteesee is with me ; I will send it when some- 
body leaves this place to go towards you, and will be 
looking out for a copy of the Brij Bilas. Girdhar 
Kabeeroy will accompany me when I go over to you ; 
he has promised to do so, and is quite mortified for his 
past forgetfulness of you. 

Written on the 8th day of the light part of Aghan, 
(November,) in the year 1911. 

* passages from the rajneet, a Sanskrit and hin- 


Excellence of knowledge — An educated and virtuous son a 
blessing — Dangerous enemies — Fate — Prosperity the fruit of ex- 
ertions — The society of the wise and virtuous — Ac., — &c, — &c. 

mins, who know Sanscrit, have the title of Pandit. Hindoos as 
well as Mohomedans who act as Persian Writers, are called 
Moonskees. And those, who are acquainted with English and 
work as English Writers are called Bdboos, All Natives of Ben- 
gal and the petty Elijahs of Oude and the districts east of it 
have also this last title. 

* Sir Win. Jones's Translation. 


Knowledge produces mildness of speech ; mildness, 
a good character ; a good character, wealth ; wealth, 
if virtuous actions attend it, happiness. 

Among all possessions knowledge appears eminent ; 
the wise call it supreme riches ; because it can never 
be lost, has no price, and can at no time be destroyed 

The science of arms, and the science of books, are 
both causes of celebrity ; but the first is ridiculous 
in an old man, and the second is in all ages respectable. 

Youth, wealth, dominion, inconsiderate actions, each 
of them, occasions danger : Oh ! what must all four 
of them do where they are united. Of what use is 
it, that a son should be born, who has neither learning 
nor virtue 1 Of what use is a blind eye, except to 
give pain 1 

Of a child unborn, dead, or ignorant, the two first 
are preferable, since they make us unhappy but once ; 
the last by continual degrees : one virtuous son is a 
blessing, not a hundred fools, as one moon dissipates 
the darkness, and not a number of stars. May the 
man, who performs the duty of devout pilgrimage," a 
duty in every place difficult, be blessed with an obe- 
dient, wealthy, virtuous, and wise son. 

The continual acquisition of wealth ; freedom from 
disease ; a beloved wife, with tender speech ; an obe- 
dient son ; and learning producing riches ; these are 
six felicities of living creatures. 

A father who contracts debts ; a mother who is 
unchaste ; a wife who is too handsome ; and an igno- 
rant son ; these are dangerous enemies. 

[ 255 ] 

What is not to be, that will not be ; if an event be 
foredoomed it cannot happen otherwise. This doctrine 
is a medicine, which heals the venom of Borrow ; why 
is it not universally drunk ] 

Prosperity is acquired by exertion, and there is no 
fruit for him who doth not exert himself : the fawns 
go not into the mouth of a sleeping lion. 

By the company of gold, even glass acquires the 
brightness of a ruby : thus by the society of good 
men a blockhead attains eminence. The insect, by 
associating with a flower, ascends the head of excellent 
persons. The stone, when consecrated by holy men, 
acquires divine honor ; as in eastern mountains every 
common thing blazes by its vicinity to the sun ; thus 
by the company of the good, a man of ignoble condi- 
tion attains brightness. 

Virtues to those who know their value are virtues ; 
yet even these, when they come in the way of vicious 
men, are vices : as rivers of sweet water are excellent, 
but when then they reach the sea are not fit to. be 

The time of the wise is passed in the delights of 
poetry ; that of the foolish, in vice, in idleness, or in 

He who restrains his appetite, a dutiful son, a pru- 
dent and good wife, a prince who reigns many years, 
he who speak advisedly, and he who acts considerately, 
for a long time give birth to no misfortune. 

Through covetousness comes anger ; through cove- 
tousness comes lust ; through covetousness come fraud 

[ 256 ] 
and illusion : covetousness is the root of all sins. 

Circumspection in calamity ; mercy in greatness ; 
in assemblies, good speeches ; in adversity, fortitude ; 
in fame, resolution to preserve it ; assiduity in study- 
ing the Scriptures : these are the self-attained perfec- 
tions of great sculs. 

Six faults must be abandoned by a man seeking 
prosperity : sleep, drowziness* fear, anger, laziness, 

Diseases ; the death of parents ; pains ; bonds ; 
and uneasiness ; — these are the fruits of the trees* 
which are planted by a man's own sins. 

The souls of such as desire to promote the justice 
of a state, and to please God, are fit objects of preser- 
vation ; when such a soul is corrupted, what will it 
not corrupt ? When it is preserved pure, what will 
it not preserve. 

To a person of an unknown tribe, or temper, no one 
should give his house. 

Even towards an enemy coming to our house, the 
offices of hospitality must be exercised, as the tree 
impedes not even the wood cutter, who stands under its 
shade ! Straw, earth water, and pleasing words ; — 
these four are never absent from the houses of good 

In perils we prove a friend ; in battle a hero ; in 
wealth a religious person ; a wise man in contracted 
fortunes ; and in calamity, kinsmen. 

t 25? ] 

The man who listens not to the words of affectionate 
friends, will give joy in the moment of distress to his 

Contract no friendship, or even acquaintance, with 
a guileful man : he resembles a coal, which, when hot, 
burnetii the hands, and when cold, blacketh it. 


Him, who injuries his benefactor, his depositor, or 
any well natured man, earth ! world ! how canst 
thou support 1 He is a monster of injustice ! 

In three years, in three months, in three fortnights, 
in three days, the fruit of great vices, or great virtues, 
is reaped even in this world ! 

Not to follow advice ; to break a promise ; to beg 
money ; cruelty ; absence of mind ; wrath ; untruth ; 
and gaming ; these are the vices of a friend. 

It is easy for all men to display learning in instruc- 
ting others ; but it is the part of one endowed with a 
great mind, to form himself by the rules of justice. 

Let no man fix his abode where five advantages are 
not found ; wealth, a divine teacher, a magistrate, a 
river, and a physician. 

Whether a boy, a youth or an old man come to a 
house, he must be saluted by its owner with as much 
reverence as a spiritual preceptor. 

To follow their own inclinations in the house of 

their father ; to join in sports ; to mix in assemblies 

-of women before men ; to sojourn abroad without 

end ; to associate with harlots ; to be always prodigal 

Y Y 

-. [ 258 ] 
of their wealth, these cause the ruin of women. 

A father secures a woman in infancy, a husband in 
youth, children in old age ; but a woman who follows 
her own inclination, cannot be secured. 

He who has wealth has friends ; he who has wealth 
has relations ; he who has wealth is a hero among the 
people ; he who has wealth is even a sage. 

From poverty comes disgrace ; from disgrace, want 
of courage ; from imbecility, ruin ; from ruin, deser- 
tion of the world ; from that desertion proceeds an- 
guish ; from anguish, loss of understanding ; from loss 
of understanding, loss of every thing. Stange that 
poverty should be the source of all evils i 

Silence for the remainder of life, is better than 
speaking falsely. 

Superficial knowledge ; pleasure dearly purchased ; 
and subsistence at the will of another ; these three 
are the disgrace of mankind. 

Miserable is he, who resides in a foreign land, he who 
eats food of another, and he who dwells in another's house. 

He who possesses a contented mind possesses all 
things. How can that delight, which the godly- 
minded feel, who taste the nectar of content, be felt 
by those who covet wealth, and flutter about from 
place to place. 

Not to att' cd at the door of the wealthy, and not 
to use the \ oioa of petition, these constitute the best 
life of a man. 

[ 259 1 

Let a man desert a single person for the sake of his 
tribe ; his tribe for the sake of his native city ; his 
native city, for the sake of his country ; and the 
whole world for the sake of his whole soul. 

The poisonous tree of this world bears two fruits 
of exquisite savor, poetry sweet as nectar, and the 
society of the good. 

He who seeks wealth, sacrifices his own pleasure ; 
and like him who carries burdens for others, bears the 
load of anxiety. 

Liberality, attended with mild language ; divine 
learning without pride ; valour, united with mercy ; 
wealth, accompanied with a generous contempt of it ; 
these four qualities are with difficulty acquired. 

As the pains of men assail them unexpectedly, so 
their pleasures come in the same manner ; a divine 
power strongly operates in both. 

Many, who read the Scriptures, are grossly igno- 
rant ; but he, who acts well, is a truly learned man. 

What means thy pride, wealthy man 1 When 
thy wealth is gone, thou art miserable ; and the rich* 
es of men are tossed about like a ball from hand to 

The shadow of summer clouds, the friendship of 
wicked men, green corn, women, youth, and wealth, 
all these are enjoyed but a short time. 

Strive not eagerly to attain provisions ; they are 
provided by God : when the new born animal falls 

[ 260 ] 
from the mother, her nipples drop milk for his support* 

He, by whom white flamans, green parrots, and rich- 
ly coloured peacocks were made, will surely find pro* 
vision for thee 1 

As death is apprehended by all animals, so the ap- 
prehensions of the rich, from kings, from water, from 
fire, from robbers, from relations, never cease. 

What use is there in wealth, to him who neither 
gives nor enjoys it ] What is strength to him, who 
subdues not his own foes 1 What signifies a know- 
ledge of the Scriptures to him, who fails to practise 
virtue ? What is the soul itself to him, who keeps 
not his own body in subjection ? 

Friendships even after death ; resentments before 
it, appeased ; and a boundless liberality ; these are 
not the qualities of little souls. 

He is the only valuable man, he is the most excel- 
lent, he is a man of real worth, from whose presence 
neither they who ask alms, nor they who seek protec- 
tion, depart hopeless or unsuccessful. 

She is a wife, who is attentive to her family ; she 
is a wife, who is the life of her husband ; she is a 
wife, who faithfully serves him ; she is not to be 
named a wife, in whom a husband is not happy. 

He who is eminent in birth, virtue, and piety, 
splendid, just, perfect in morals, is fit to be a ruler ix 
this world. 

Gain all you can, and what you gain, keep with care ; 



what you keep, increase ; and what you increase, be- 
stow on good works. 

The man, who neither gives in charity, nor enjoys 
his wealth, which every day increases, breathes indeed, 
like the bellows of a smith ; but cannot be said to live. 

By the fall of the water-drops the pot is filled ; 
such is the increase of riches, of knowledge, and of 
virtue ! 

What is the distinction between a brute, and that 
man-beast who has no knowledge or thought of wrong 
or right, whom the assemblies of the learned in hea- 
venly wisdom drive from their company, and who seeks 
only the gratification of his appetite. 

A king, woman, and a creeping plant, alike twine 
round him, who stands by their side. 

Favourable discourse to a servant ; presents that 
denote affection ; even in blaming faults, taking no- 
tice of virtues ; these are the manners of a kind 

By taking up the whole time of a servant ; by in- 
creasing expectation ; by denying reward ; a sensible 
man knows this to be the conduct of an ill disposed 

In imminent danger, in the pursuit of evil objects* 
in a season unpropitious for action, a servant, who 
seeks the love of his master, must speak even without 
being asked ! 

A Horse ; a weapon ; a book ; a lute ; speech ; a 

[ 262 J 

man ; and a woman ; all these, according to the dis- 
tinction of the persons in whose hands they fall, are 
useless, or valuable. 

Apt words must be taken by the wise even from a 
child ; when the light of the sun disappears, what is not 
the lustre of a torch ? 

A king, whether a man or child, must not be treated 
with contempt ; in him certainly a great divinity 
appears in human shape. 

A bad wife, a deceitful friend, a servant giving 
saucy answers, and dwelling in a house infested by 
serpents, these without doubt are causes of death. 

It is better to pull up by the roots a loose tooth, 
a envenomed servant, and a wicked counsellor. 

He is a friend, who delivers thee from adversity. 
That is a good action, which is well intended. She 
is a wife, who is an inseparable companion. He is 
wise, who honours the good. He is a friend, whom 
favours have not purchased. He is a man, who is not 
subdued by his senses. 

Many a bad man receives lustre from the goodness 
of his protector, like the black powder rubbed on the 
eye of a beautiful woman. 

A hundred good works are lost upon the wicked ; 
a hundred wise words are lost upon fools ; a hundred 
good precepts are lost upon the obstinate ; a hundred 
sciences upon those who never reflect. 

In the sandal-tree are serpents ; in the waters. 


lotus-flowers, but crocodiles also ; even virtues are 
marred by the vicious ; in all enjoyments there is 
something which impairs our happiness. 

A ship is used in passing the dangerous ocean ; a 
lamp, used in darkness ; a fan, in a perfect calm ; and 
a hook, in humbling the pride of an elephant. Thus 
in this world, nothing exists for which a remedy has 
not been formed by the Creator ; but, in my opinion, 
the Creator himself would fail in his efforts to correct 
the bad thoughts of the wicked. 

The thunderbolt, and the wrath of a king, are two 
objects of great terror ; but the former only falls 
on one place, the second spreads ruin on all sides. 

Mercy to a friend, or a foe, is the ornament of re- 
ligious men ; but lenity to all offenders, is a crime 
in a monarch. 

A king over-merciful, a priest over greedy, a wo- 
man disobedient to her husband, an ill disposed com- 
panion, an uuruly servant, a negligent counsellor, and 
he who acknowledges not a benefit received ; these 
seven are to be dismissed. 

Sometimes lenity is the grace of a man ; but be- 
fore victory is gained, violence becomes him. 

A king should, by all means, choose a minister who 
was born in his realm, who follows the profession of 
his ancestors, who is perfect in religious and moral 
duties, void of arrogance, has read the body of laws, 
firmly principled, esteemed wise, and the author of 
prudent counsels. 

[ 264 ] 

An ambassador should be thus qualified : Faithful, 
honest, pure, fortunate, moral, laborious, patient, a 
Brahmin, knowing the hearts of others, and extremely 
sagacious. Again : Noble, true, eloquent, prosperous, 
affable, exact ^delivering his message, with a good 

Give a hundred pieces, rather than go to war. This 
is the rule in the sacred code. To war without neces- 
sity, is the part of a fool ! 

By winks, by the walk, by action of speeoh, by the 
motion of the eye and the lip, a wise man discovers 
the mind. 

Every man is a hero, who has not been in battle : 
and who, that has not seen the strength of another, 
is not arrogant 1 

A great king should fear his enemies at a distance : 
but when near, act with valour. In the midst of 
danger, it is a dreadful crime to be inactive. Let a 
warrior keep his arms reserved as a tortoise contracts 
his limbs ; then, when he has an opening let him rise 
up like an enraged serpent. 

A prince stationed in his enemy's country without 
a fortress, falls, like a man out of a ship. Again : 
A fortress must be built with large battlements, 
and lofty walls, supplied with vessels, implements, 
provisions, and water, with a hill, a river, a dry plain, 
and a wood. Yet more : Of great extent ; difficult 
of access ; sufficiency of water, and grain ; with store 
of wood ; a fit place for ingress, and egress ; these 
are the seven excellencies of a castle. 


That is no council, at which the aged attend not ; 
they are not aged, who speak not with justice ; that 
is not justice, which is unaccompanied with truth ; and 
there is no truth where fear prevails. 

Discontented priests, and contented princes, are 
alike ruined ; modest harlots and immodest women 
of rank, are alike. 

The taste of wine ; the love of woman ; excessive 
hunting ; gaming, and borrowing of money ; listen- 
ing to false charges ; severity in inflicting of punish- 
ments ; these are the causes of a king's misery. 

Who is not plagued by wealth, and goods brought as 
a portion by his wife ? 

If a man has no knowledge of his own, of what use 
is a book to him J Of what service is a mirror to a 
blind man ? 

,When fools begin a trifling act, they hesitate ; but 
when the wise begin an arduous enterprise, they are 
firm and without hesitation. 

On eight occasions, king ! there cannot be too 
much liberality : 

A solemn sacrifice, a royal marriage, in public dis- 
tress, for the destruction of enemies, on a work which 
will raise reputation, on the society of friends, for the 
comfort of beloved wives, and for the relief of indi- 
gent relations. 

To escape danger, let a man preserve his wealth ; 
to secure his wealth, let him preserve his wife ; and 


[ 266 ] 

by his wife and his wealth, let him even preserve 

Truth, valour, liberality, these are the principal 
virtues of kings; void of these, a ruler of the world 
is sure to have a blemished character. 

When a low man or woman, a child or a fool, are 
the advisers of a king, he is tossed by the winds of 
vice, and drowned in a sea of trouble ! 

The prince who conceals his joy and his anger, who 
spends his revenue with continual moderation, is 
never forsaken by his servants, and the earth be- 
stows her wealth on him ! 

To conquer by alliance with the enemy's officers ; 
to continue a blockade obstinately ; to attack at night ^ 
or to take a castle, and plunder it, by storm ; these 
are the four greatest acts in war. 

A good consultation ; a good preparation ; a good 
engagement ; and a good retreat ; let a wise officer do 
all these when occasion offers, without hesitation. 

In this world, broken with the motion of waves, 
violently agitated, life should be virtuously sacrificed 
for the benefit of others. 

They who are. valiant in battle, forsaking even life 
for the sake of their masters, and servants devoted to 
their lords, and intelligent in business, ascend indubi- 
tably to heaven. When a soldier, who has shewn no 
timidity, fells in battle, surrounded by foes, he reaches 
the gods, who die no more. 


[ 267 ] 

When a man has a bad star, he accuses destiny ; 
but unwisely perceiveth not his own bad actions. 

When a servant has acted well, his good work ought 
not to perish ; but he should be made happy by rewards, 
by affection, by kind words, and by kind looks. 

Let an union be formed with the foe, who benefits ; 
not with a friend who injures thee ; a view must be 
duly made of benefits and injuries. 

We should only fear, when danger is distant : when 
it is present, we should fight like heroes ! 

He, who offers his virtuous services, and without 
regarding what is pleasing or unpleasing to his lord, 
speaks disagreeable truths, is a benefactor to his 

A truth-speaking man, a virtuous man, a just man, 
a vicious man, he, who has many brothers, and he, 
who has obtained victory in many wars ; with these six, 
peace should be made. 

Preserving his secret unrevealed, and his forces well 
united, let a hero march and annoy his enemy ; for 
hot iron may form an union with hot iron ; so he by 
equal fierceness, at a time when his foe is fierce, may 
conclude a firm peace. 

No such fruit is gathered, say the wise, from giving 
cattle, land, or food ; no not even from giving our 
owu lives, as from giving protection to the helpless. 

The body receives with it the principles of destruc* 
tion j wealth is the cause of dangers ; they who ar- 

[ 268 ] 

rive, must certainly return ; everything is by nature 

This body lasts but a moment ; it perishes ; it is 
seen no more ; a pot of unbaked clay is broken stand- 
ing in water. Youth, beauty, life, collected wealth, 
dominion, the society of friends, are all uncertain ; 
in this the wise are not deceived. 

As wood meets wood in the great ocean, and after 
the meeting is separated, such is the meeting of ani- 
mated beings. Night and day, seizing the lives of 
mortals, pass on continually, like the current of a 
stream, and return no more. 

The society of the good in this world is like the 
pleasure of eating delicate food ; it is closely connect- 
ed with the pain of separation. 

When a father, a son, or a -friend, is overcome by 
death, they who know how to assuage the pain of their 
bowels by abstinence, are nevertheless, tormented with 
grief : but the removal of the wise from this base 
world, which never ultimately affords pleasure, should 
strengthen, and multiply the delights of holiness. 

Even in a forest, where men are inflamed with pas- 
sion, crimes prevail ; and in a private mansion, where 
the five members are subdued, piety dwells : the house 
of a man employed in virtuous actions, and free from 
passion, is a desert of devotion. 

They whose food is only to sustain life, whose voice 
is only to speak truth, pass with ease through great 

[ 269 ] 

Connection with the world should be avoided by 
every soul : but if it cannot be avoided, let it be 
formed with the virtuous, for such a connection will 
remedy the evil. 

Piety, devotion, content, and the other virtues 
must be nourished like children. 

If we take not soon, give not soon, perform not 
soon, time gives the benefit of it to another. 

Let not a man perform an act hastily ; want of 
circumspection is a great cause of danger ; wealth 
pays homage, even voluntarily, to a man who acts 
with caution. 

Like an earthen pot, a bad man is easily broken, 
and cannot be easily restored to his former situation : 
but a virtuous man, v like a vase of gold, is broken 
with difficulty, and easily repaired. 

Let a man purchase a miser with money ; a haughty 
man with joined hands and reverence ; a fool with 
promises ; a wise man with truth. With affection 
win a friend, and a kinsman ; thy wife, and servants 
with gifts and honours ; with great actions, the 
powerful ! 

lie is truly wise, who considers another's wife as 
his mother, another's gold as mere clay, and all other 
creatures as himself. 

The life of animals is tremulous, as the reflections 
of the moon in water ; let him then, who knows it to 
be uncertain, perform actions, which will hereafter be 
beneficial to him. 

[ 270 ]. 

Having seen this world, which perishes in an instant, 
resembling the vapour in a desert, let him seek the 
society of the virtuous ; both for the sake of his re- 
ligious duties, and of his own happiness. 

If truth be placed in a balance with a thousand 
sacrifices of horses, truth will out-weigh a thousand 

* The Sacrifice of horses is considered highly meritorious in 
the Hindoo Scriptures. 


Page 11, line 24, for " piece" read " pioe" 

„ 23, line 14, for " being" read "living" 

„ 30, line 11, for " parts" read "part" 

„ 34, line 24, for " pooun" read " poonn" 

„ 36, line §, for " considering" read " considered" * 

„ 37, line 4, for " kishans" read " kisans" A 

„ 39, line 27, for " throw" rco^ *' thrown" ™ 

„ 44, line 20, for " in" read " is" 

„ 45, line 25, for " bullock" read?' " bullocks" 

„ 47, line 2, for " then" read " them" 

„ 49, line 11, for " madar" read " madan" 

„ 56, line 6, for " it" read " is" 

„ 57, line 10, for " power" read " poorer" 

„ 58, line 3, for " groves" read " grooves" 

„ 71, line 13, from bottom, for " chairs" read " chains" 

„ 72, line 6, for "manufactures" read "manufac- 

„ 75, line 10, for "in" read "it" 

„ „ line 7, from bottom, for " there" read " three" 

„ 77, line 3, from bottom, after " three" read " or" 

„ 78, line 1, for " second" read " seconds" 

„ 79, line 10, for " then" read " them" 

81, line 1, after " is" read " a" 

82, line 6, for " the" read « their" 
„ „ line 11, for "estimations" read "estimation" 
„ 90, line 10, for " cloths" read " clothes" 
„ 91, line 1, for " attered" read " attired" 
„ 92, line 13, for " though" read " through" 
„ 95, line 14, after " of read " the" 
„ 96, line 13, for "resorts" read "resort" 
„ „ line 8, for " while" read « which" 
„ 98, line 8, from bottom, for " more" read "move" 
„ 101, line 12, from bottom, for " field" read "fields" 
„ 104, line 2, for " there" read " their" j 
„ 107, line 19, for " through" read "though" 
„ 109, line 8, for " Numee" read " Naumee" 
„ 111, line 13, for "in" read "on" 
„ „ line 7, from bottom, for " Salonan" read " Salonau" 
„ 112, line 4, for "in" read " is" 
„ 116, line 7, for " though" read "through" 
„ 117, line 7, before " own" read " his" 
,,122, line 20, for " knees" read "knee" 
„ 126, line 3, for "rot£" read "roti" 

Page 128, line 5, for " child" read " a child" « 

„ 129, line 4, from bottom, for " plate" read • " plates" 

„ 132, line 8, from bottom, after " of read " the" 

„ 133, line 11, before " eata" read " he" 

^ „ „ line 20, /or " husband" read " husbands" 

„ 137, line 14, for "after" read "often" 

^ „ 139, line 2, from bottom, a/ter " some" read " of 

„ 140, line 13, from bottom, for " emcious" read " effi- 




144, line 13, after " describe, read " it" 

145, line 1, from bottom, for "exhibition" read 

" exhibitions" 

„ 146, line 2, for "scene" read "screen" 

„ „ line 11, before "dances" read "and" 

„ 150, line 10, for " those" read " these" 

„ 153, line 3, from bottom, before "new" read "her" 

„ 155, line 5, after "at" read "by" 

„ 156, line 10, for " women" read " woman" 

„ 157, line 20, after " of read " the" 

„ 158, line 1, for "indency" read "indecency" 

„ „ line 1, from bottom, after " are" read " of* 

„ 164, line 3, from bottom, for "she" read "he" 

„ 166, line 7, for " part" read " parts" 

„ 171, line 8, from bottom, far "cooks" read "cook" 

„ 177, line 11, from bottom, for " take" read "takes" 

„ 179, line 15, for " sometimes" read "sometime" 

„ „ line 1, from bottom, for " good" read " god" 

„ 198, line 19, for " water melons" read " water melon" 

199, line 7, for " trive" read " tribe" 

200, lineli, for "house" read "houses" 
„ line 8, from bottom, for " bathe" read " baths" 

201, line 5, from bottom, for " weather ,> read " water" 
„ 203, Hne 9, for "time by" read "timely" 

208, line 6, for " professes" read " profess" 

210, line 19, for " victual" read " victuals" 

„ 213, line 18, before "time" read "same" 

„ 220, line 6, for "them" read "him" 

„ 235, line 10, from bottom, after " so" read " to" 

„ 236, line 4, from bottom, 6e/ore " made" read " have" 

„ 239, line 13, from bottom, for " use" read " uses." 


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